Regions of Vietnam

Northern Vietnam (Vietnamese: Bắc Bộ) is one of three geographical regions within Vietnam. It consists of three administrative regions: the Northwest (Vùng Tây Bắc), the Northeast (Vùng Đông Bắc), and the Red River Delta (Đồng Bằng Sông Hồng). It has a total area of about 109,942.9 km2. Tonkin is a historical exonym for this region plus the Thanh-Nghệ region.

Of the three geographical regions, the oldest is Northern Vietnam, where the Vietnamese culture originated over 2,000 years ago in the Red River Delta, though Vietnamese people eventually spread south into the Mekong Delta.


Northern Vietnam includes three administrative regions, which in turn comprises 25 First Tier units.

Northern Vietnam
Administrative Region First Tier Administrative Units Area (km2) Population (2019)[1] Population Density
(people/ km2)
Northeast (Đông Bắc Bộ)

Bắc Giang
Bắc Kạn
Cao Bằng
Hà Giang
Lạng Sơn
Phú Thọ
Quảng Ninh
Thái Nguyên
Tuyên Quang

50,684.10 9,425,741 169.05 contains most of the mountainous provinces that lie to north of the highly populated Red River lowlands. Four of them are along Vietnam's border with China.
Northwest (Tây Bắc Bộ)

Điện Biên
Hòa Bình
Lai Châu
Lào Cai
Sơn La
Yên Bái

44,301.10 4,720,270 100.37 contains inland provinces in the west of Vietnam's northern part. Three of them are along Vietnam's border with Laos, and two border China (Dien Bien borders both China and Laos).
Red River Delta (Đồng Bằng Sông Hồng)

Bắc Ninh
Hà Nam
Hà Nội
Hải Dương
Hải Phòng
Hưng Yên
Nam Định
Ninh Bình
Thái Bình
Vĩnh Phúc

14,957.70 22,785,750 1,318.00 contains the small but populous provinces along the mouth of the Red River. The Red River Delta has the smallest area but highest population and population density of all regions. It is also the only region without any land borders with neighboring countries.

^† Municipality (thành phố trực thuộc trung ương)

Of all 25 First Tier units, two are municipalities and 23 are provinces.

See also


  1. ^ General Statistics Office (2017): Statistical Yearbook of Vietnam 2015. Statistical Publishing House, Hanoi.