This paper conducts an analysis of the socioeconomic determinants of Vietnam's cross-provincial variations in natural disaster vulnerability. The purpose is twofold: (i) to capture disaggregated vulnerability variations normally obscured by national statistics, thereby providing more nuanced insights into Vietnam's vulnerability to natural disasters; and (ii) to take advantage of the fact that the overall political system and key institutional structures to a large extent are constant across Vietnam's provinces, which makes the analysis a novel addition to the many disaster studies based on cross-national variations. The paper's analysis indicates that much of Vietnam's cross-provincial variations in natural disaster fatalities and economic costs can be explained by differences in key socioeconomic factors. High provincial rates of inequality, poverty and infant mortality, for instance, appear to drive up natural disaster fatalities. Local adaptation efforts should focus as much on these broader socioeconomic dimensions as they focus on the geophysical susceptibility to natural hazards of individual areas.