Viet Nam SME database

The Viet Nam Small and Medium Enterprises data track over 2500 enterprises from nine provinces over time.

The Viet Nam SME survey, collected biennially since 2005, is a collaborative effort of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs (ILSSA), the Development Economics Research Group (DERG) at the University of Copenhagen, and UNU-WIDER.  

The survey instrument consists of three modules: (i) a main enterprise questionnaire for owners or managers; (ii) an employee questionnaire administered to a random subset of employees in a quarter of randomly selected enterprises; and (iii) an economic accounts module. While the enterprise-level survey solicits information on firm performance, enterprise history, employment, business environment, and owner/manager background characteristics, the employee survey collects data on educational background, work experiences and training, union membership, and household characteristics of employees. The economic accounts module lists revenues, costs, assets, and liabilities.

Available for download below are the survey instruments (in PDF format) and the data sets for years 2011, 2013, and 2015 (and also 2005, 2007, and 2009 [in STATA format]). Descriptive reports for 2011, 2013, and 2015 are also available. 

See also Vietnam Data – University of Copenhagen ( for information on 2005, 2007 and 2009 data and other information.

Viet Nam SME dataSurvey instruments
Complete form to access employee and enterprise data for 2011, 2013, and 2015


Please cite the data as follows: CIEM, ILSSA, UCPH, and UNU-WIDER (year of survey). Viet Nam SME Survey. 

About the data

The data has been collected through a survey carried out in nine provinces of the country: Hanoi (including Ha Tay), Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Tho, Nghe An, Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong, and Long An. The data are based on face-to-face interviews with firm owners/managers and employees, and are typically collected in the months of June-August. 

The enterprises surveyed are distributed across approximately 18 sectors such as: food processing, fabricated metal products, and manufacturing of wood products. Enterprises are classified according to the current World Bank definition, with micro-enterprises having up to 10 employees, small-scale enterprises up to 50 employees, medium-sized enterprises up to 300 employees, and large enterprises having more than 300 employees.

Sampling methodology

The population of non-state manufacturing enterprises in the selected provinces is based on two data sources from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO), the Establishment Census from 2002 and the Industrial Survey of 2004–06. The number of individual business establishments that do not satisfy the conditions stated in the Law on Enterprises of Vietnam—also referred to as household enterprises—are obtained from the Establishment Census. This information is combined with data on private, collectives, partnerships, limited liability, and joint stock enterprises, formally registered under the Law on Enterprises at the province level from the Industrial Survey. Joint ventures, including those with state involvement, have been excluded from the sampling framework due to the often unclear nature of government involvement in such ownership structures. 

Stratified sampling was used to ensure an adequate number of enterprises in each province with different ownership forms. It is important to note that the sample of informal firms is not representative of the informal sector in Viet Nam, since the sampling scheme of the survey is based on the GSO business censuses and surveys, which cover only part of the informal sector.

In each round, data is collected from employees in 500-600 randomly selected enterprises under the employee module. Note that the employee data are not representative of the manufacturing labour force in Viet Nam as the employee survey is designed as a cross-section. Creating employee-level panel data requires revealing employee names, which cannot be done due to confidentiality concerns.