Since the unification of Vietnam in 1975 there has been a concerted effort to raise the literacy late throughout the country. This paper reports on the overall literacy rate in Vietnam and in subsets within the country, using data from the Census of 1999. It looks at differences within each of the provinces due to gender, area of residence and ethnicity. It pays particular attention to subgroups within provinces that are most disadvantaged. The greatest differences were defined by area of residence and ethnicity. The analysis makes much use of odds ratios, logistic regression and the visual display of data in map form, techniques not widely used in educational research.