Vietnam is divided into 58 provinces (Vietnamese: tỉnh) and 5 municipalities existing at the same level as provinces (thành phố trực thuộc trung ương).
The provinces are divided into districts (huyện), provincial cities (thành phố trực thuộc tỉnh), and county-level towns (thị xã), which are subdivided into commune-level towns (thị trấn) or communes (xã).
The municipalities are divided into rural districts (huyện) and urban districts (quận), which are subdivided into wards (phường).
Vietnamese provinces are controlled by a People's Council, elected by the inhabitants. The People's Council appoints a People's Committee, which acts as the executive arm of the provincial government. This arrangement is a somewhat simplified version of the situation in Vietnam's national government. Provincial governments are expected to be subordinate to the central government.

According to the census results of April 1, 2009, the population of Vietnam is 85,789,573 people. The most populous top-level administrative unit in Vietnam is Hồ Chí Minh City, one of the five centrally governed cities. It has 7,123,340 people living within its official boundaries. The second most populous administrative unit is the recently-expanded Hà Nội with 6,448,837 people. Prior to the expansion of the capital city, this rank belonged to Thanh Hóa with 3,400,239 people. The least populous is Bắc Kạn, a mountainous province in the remote northeast with 294,660 people.
In terms of land area, the largest province is Nghệ An, which runs from the city of Vinh up the wide Sông Cả valley. The smallest is Bắc Ninh, located in the populous Red River Delta.
The following is a table of Vietnam's provinces broken down by population and area, April 1, 2009
Province/CityCapitalArea (km²)PopulationDensity (/km²)% UrbanHDIRegion
Hà Nội (city) ----- 3,119.0 6,451,909 2,068.6 41.0 0.768 Red River Delta
Ha Giang province Hà Giang 7,945.8 724,537 91.2 11.6 0.600 Northeastern
Cao Bang province Cao Bằng 6,724.6 507,183 75.4 16.9 0.527 Northeastern
Bac Kan province Bắc Kạn 4,868.4 293,826 60.4 16.1 0.602 Northeastern
Tuyen Quang province Tuyên Quang 5,870.4 724,821 123.5 13.0 0.664 Northeastern
Lao Cai province Lào Cai 6,383.9 614,595 96.3 21.0 0.665 Northeastern
Dien Bien province Điện Biên Phủ 9,562.5 490,306 51.3 15.0 0.545 Northwestern
Lai Chau province Lai Châu 9,112.3 370,502 40.7 14.2 0.542 Northwestern
Son La province Sơn La 14,174.4 1,076,055 75.9 13.8 0.497 Northwestern
Yen Bai province Yên Bái 6,899.5 740,397 107.3 18.8 0.533 Northeastern
Hoa Binh province Hòa Bình 4,684.2 785,217 167.6 15.0 0.595 Northwestern
Thai Nguyen province Thái Nguyên 3,546.6 1,123,116 316.7 25.6 0.656 Northeastern
Lang Son province Lạng Sơn 8,331.2 732,515 87.9 19.2 0.648 Northeastern
Quang Ninh province Hạ Long 6,099.0 1,144,988 187.7 51.9 0.668 Northeastern
Bac Giang province Bắc Giang 3,827.4 1,554,131 406.1 9.4 0.602 Northeastern
Phu Tho province Việt Trì 3,528.4 1,316,389 373.1 15.8 0.513 Northeastern
Vinh Phuc province Vĩnh Yên 1,373.2 999,786 728.1 22.4 0.523 Red River Delta
Bac Ninh province Bắc Ninh 823.1 1,024,472 1,244.7 23.5 0.484 Red River Delta
Hai Duong province Hải Dương 1,652.8 1,705,059 1,031.6 19.0 0.502 Red River Delta
Hải Phòng (city) Dang nang 1,520.7 1,837,173 1,208.1 46.1 0.595 Red River Delta
Hung Yen province Hưng Yên 923.5 1,127,903 1,221.3 12.1 0.501 Red River Delta
Thai Binh province Thái Bình 1,546.5 1,781,842 1,152.1 9.7 0.585 Red River Delta
Ha Nam province Phủ Lý 859.7 784,045 912.0 9.5 0.499 Red River Delta
Nam Dinh province Nam Định 1,650.8 1,828,111 1,107.4 17.6 0.539 Red River Delta
Ninh Binh province Ninh Bình 1,392.4 898,999 645.6 17.9 0.601 Red River Delta
Thanh Hoa province Thanh Hóa 11,136.3 3,400,595 305.4 10.4 0.579 North Central Coast
Nghe An province Vinh 16,498.5 2,912,041 176.5 12.9 0.547 North Central Coast
Ha Tinh province Hà Tĩnh 6,026.5 1,227,038 203.6 14.9 0.543 North Central Coast
Quang Binh province Đồng Hới 8,065.3 844,893 104.8 15.0 0.553 North Central Coast
Quang Tri province Đông Hà 4,760.1 598,324 125.7 27.4 0.529 North Central Coast
Thua Thien-Hue province Huế 5,065.3 1,087,420 214.7 36.0 0.565 North Central Coast
Đà Nẵng (city) ----- 1,257.3 887,435 705.8 86.9 0.689 South Central Coast
Quang Nam province Tam Kỳ 10,438.3 1,422,319 136.3 18.6 0.548 South Central Coast
Quang Ngai province Quảng Ngãi 5,152.7 1,216,773 236.1 14.6 0.618 South Central Coast
Binh Dinh province Qui Nhơn 6,039.6 1,486,465 246.1 27.7 0.591 South Central Coast
Phu Yen province Tuy Hòa 5,060.6 862,231 170.4 21.8 0.594 South Central Coast
Khanh Hoa province Nha Trang 5,217.6 1,157,604 221.9 39.9 0.555 South Central Coast
Ninh Thuan province Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm 3,363.1 564,993 168.0 36.1 0.556 South Central Coast
Binh Thuan province Phan Thiet 7,836.9 1,167,023 148.9 39.3 0.637 South Central Coast
Kon Tum province Kon Tum 9,690.5 430,133 44.4 33.5 0.593 Central Highlands
Gia Lai province Pleiku 15,536.9 1,274,412 82.0 28.6 0.697 Central Highlands
Dak Lak province Buôn Ma Thuột 13,139.2 1,733,624 131.9 24.0 0.596 Central Highlands
Dak Nong province Gia Nghĩa 6,516.9 489,382 75.1 14.7 0.563 Central Highlands
Lam Dong province Đà Lạt 9,776.1 1,187,574 121.5 37.8 0.545 Central Highlands
Binh Phuoc province Đồng Xoài 6,883.4 873,598 126.9 16.5 0.665 Southeastern
Tay Ninh province Tây Ninh 4,035.9 1,066,513 264.3 15.6 0.537 Southeastern
Binh Duong province Thủ Dầu Một 2,696.2 1,481,550 549.5 29.9 0.643 Southeastern
Dong Nai province Biên Hòa 5,903.9 2,486,154 421.1 33.2 0.489 Southeastern
Ba Ria–Vung Tau province Vũng Tàu 1,989.6 996,682 500.9 49.9 0.700 Southeastern
Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (city) ----- 2,095.1 7,162,864 3,418.9 83.3 0.798 Southeastern
Long An province Tân An 4,493.8 1,436,066 319.6 17.4 0.435 Mekong Delta
Tien Giang province Mỹ Tho 2,484.2 1,672,271 673.2 13.7 0.811 Mekong Delta
Ben Tre province Bến Tre 2,360.2 1,255,946 532.1 9.9 0.607 Mekong Delta
Tra Vinh province Trà Vinh 2,295.1 1,003,012 437.0 15.3 0.676 Mekong Delta
Vinh Long province Vĩnh Long 1,479.1 1,024,707 692.8 15.3 0.503 Mekong Delta
Dong Thap province Cao Lãnh 3,376.4 1,666,467 493.9 17.8 0.483 Mekong Delta
An Giang province Long Xuyên 3,536.8 2,142,709 605.8 28.4 0.596 Mekong Delta
Kien Giang province Rạch Giá 6,348.3 1,688,248 265.9 27.0 0.708 Mekong Delta
Cần Thơ (city) ----- 1,401.6 1,188,435 847.9 65.9 0.389 Mekong Delta
Hau Giang province Vị Thanh 1,601.1 757,300 473.0 19.6 0.666 Mekong Delta
Soc Trang province Sóc Trăng 3,312.3 1,292,853 390.3 19.4 0.554 Mekong Delta
Bac Lieu province Bạc Liêu 2,584.1 856,518 331.5 26.1 0.586 Mekong Delta
Ca Mau province Cà Mau 5,331.7 1,206,938 226.4 20.4 0.494 Mekong Delta



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