Vietnam, officially Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a country of Southeast Asia occupying the eastern part of the Indochinese Penninsula. From 1954 to 1975 the country was divided into two separate countries of approximately equal size—North Vietnam and South Vietnam. After years of warfare, North Vietnam conquered the south in 1975 and formally reunified the country the following year.

Facts in brief about Vietnam
Capital: Hanoi.
Official language: Vietnamese.
Area: 128,066 mi2 (331,689 km2). Greatest distances—north-south, 1,030 mi (1,658 km); east-west, 380 mi (612 km). Coastline—2,140 mi (3,444 km).
Elevation: Highest—Fan Si Pan, 10,312 ft (3,143 m) above sea level. Lowest—sea level along the coast.
Population: Current estimate—87,009,000; density, 679 per mi2 (262 per km2); distribution, 74 percent rural, 26 percent urban. 1999 census—76,323,173.
Chief products: Agriculture—rice. Manufacturing—cement, fertilizer, iron and steel, paper products, shoes, steel, textiles. Mining—coal.
Money: Basic unit—dong.
Flag and coat of arms: Vietnam's flag, adopted in 1945, features a star that stands for Communism. The coat of arms has the star along with branches of rice and a cogwheel that represent the importance of agriculture and industry to Vietnam. The shape of the star was modified slightly in 1955.