Vietnam is a multiethnic country with over fifty distinct groups (54 are recognized by the Vietnamese government), each with its own language, lifestyle, and cultural heritage. Many of the local ethnic groups residing in mountain areas are known collectively in the West as Montagnard or Degar. The largest ethnic groups are: Kinh (Viet) 86.2%, Tay 1.9%, Tai Ethnic 1.7%, Mường 1.5%, Khmer Krom (Khơ Me Crộm) 1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nùng 1.1%, Hmong 1%, others 4.1% (1999 census). The Vietnamese term for ethnic group is người thiểu số or dân tộc thiểu số (literally "minority people"). One distinctive feature of highland ethnic minority groups in Vietnam is that they are in colorful attires whether at home, in the farm, on travel or in the town. Many of the ethnic groups elsewhere such as southern part of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China, Papua New Guinea, and many other countries do not wear attractive clothes while engaged in their day-to-day activities. The clothes of one group is quite different from that of other groups that adds color to the social landscape.
List of ethnic groups in Vietnam Wikipedia
The population data taken from 2009 Census
The total population number of Apr 2014 was 90.493.352,published in the Premier Minister Website.
- Nguồn - possibly Mường group, officially classified as a Việt (Kinh) group by the government, Nguồn themselves identify with Việt ethnicity; their language is a member of the Viet–Muong branch of the Vietic sub-family
- Sui people (Người Thủy) - officially classified as Pa Then people.
- According to news from Dantri, an online newspaper in Vietnam, the Thừa Thiên-Huế People's Committee in September 2008 announced a plan to do more research in a new ethnic group in Vietnam. It is Pa Kô, also called Pa Cô, Pa Kô, Pa-Kô or Pa Kôh. This ethnic group settles mainly in A Lưới suburban district (Thừa Thiên-Huế) and mountainous area of Hướng Hóa (Quảng Trị). At the present, however, they have been being classified in Tà Ôi ethnic group.
- Bunong/Pnong people. This ethnic group lives mainly in North East Cambodia, but during the American War many fled into Vietnam in the central highlands region around Buon Ma Thuot province. While most returned to their homeland in Cambodia after the war, a small number remain in Vietnam as evidenced by the story of Guin Thi. Though presumably the number of Bunong people remaining in Vietnam is very low. The Christian and Missionary Alliance have targeted this minority group in Cambodia and seem to be the only organization publishing much information about their history.
People of European, North American, Australian, and Asian (non-Vietnamese) origin. Many people of these origins are temporary residents in Vietnam as expatriate workers and some are permanently settled there, some through marriage. Included in permanent settlers are Europeans of French descent, who are descendants of the colonial settlers. Most of them left after its independence.