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Vietnamese (called Kinh) are the dominant ethnic group with approximately 87% of the population. There are also 53 minority groups. Most are thinly spread throughout the extensive mountainous regions. Until recently, most ethnic groups had little interaction with each other or the Vietnamese majority in the lowlands. The major ethnic groups include the Tay (2%) and Thai (1%). These peoples arrived anciently, near the same time as the Vietnamese. They are related anciently to peoples in Thailand and Laos, but have little in common with them today. The Nung (1%) are of similar origin, but arrived much later. The Muong (2%) are also an ancient people, but are related more closely to the Vietnamese. The Meo (1%) and Man (1%) are recent arrivals, more closely related to groups in China. The Khmer (1%) and Bahnar (1%) are related to Cambodians. The Jarai (1%) are of Malayo-Polynesian stock. The Yue (4%), the largest group, also called Overseas Chinese, were born in China and immigrated principally from Cantonese areas. Other Asian groups and Europeans make up a small minority.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Vietnam,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 2001.