Every year, thousands of people from other countries come to Canada to begin a new life. They bring a variety of talents and skills, and the hope of contributing to their new home. You may be reading this profile because you are a volunteer in an organized HOST Program, or simply because your work or daily life brings you into contact with newly arrived Vietnamese.

Most of the Vietnamese in Canada arrived as refugees from South Vietnam between 1975 and 1985. Since then, most south Vietnamese have come because they were sponsored by their families.

Vietnamese who come to Canada will have many of the same questions that you would have if you moved to a new city or country. They will wonder how to find work and meet others, where to find a doctor or good schools for their children, and where to shop. You can help your new friends settle in by answering their questions. You will also find that you can learn a great deal from them.

Although this cultural profile provides insights into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Vietnam.

  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Capital City Hanoi
Type of Government Communist People's Republic
Population 79 million
Area 329,566 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Vietnamese, Chinese, Khmer Chams, Montagnards
Languages Vietnamese, French, Chinese, English, Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian dialects
Religions Buddism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hoa Hao, Caodaist, Taoism, Islam
Unit of Currency Dong
National Flag Red background with five-pointed yellow star in centre
Date of Independence September 2, 2021

  Did you know?
Vietnam's central highlands and the mountainous regions of the north are home to over 50 different ethnic groups, referred to as the Montagnards (the French term for highlanders).