Vietnam is a multi-nations country which homes to 54 different nations. Among them, the Viet nation (often called as the Kinh nation) comprises 86.83 per cent of the total population. Two largest ethnics are Tay and Thai, which account for 1.97% and 1.79% of Vietnam's population and are concentrated in the country's northern uplands.
With a population of more than 900,000, Vietnam's ethnic Chinese community is one of the most significant and wealthiest in Vietnam. Long important in the Vietnamese economy, Vietnamese of Chinese ancestry have been active in rice trading, milling, real estate, and banking in the south and shop keeping, stevedoring, and mining in the north. Restrictions on economic activity following reunification of the north and south in 1975 and the subsequent but unrelated general deterioration in Vietnamese-Chinese relations caused increasing anxiety within the Chinese-Vietnamese community. As tensions between Vietnam and China reached their peak in 1978-79, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees (many officially encouraged and assisted) or were expelled across the land border with China.
Other significant ethnic minority groups include central highland peoples (formerly termed Montagnards) such as the Gia Rai, Bana, Ede, Xo Dang, Gie Trieng, and the Khmer Krom (Cambodians), who are concentrated near the Cambodian border and at the mouth of the Mekong River.
Vietnamese is the official language of the country. It is a tonal language with influences from Thai, Khmer, and Chinese. Since the early 20th century, the Vietnamese have used a Romanized script introduced by the French. Previously, Chinese characters and an indigenous phonetic script were both used.