The objective of this research is to analyze the current status and process of Vietnam's rural development to draw lessons for improving the quality of rural life and achieving sustainable rural development in Vietnam. The research was carried out by the following methods. First, the paper reviews previous studies on concepts and theoretical perspectives on rural development and comes up with a concrete definition of the term ‘rural development’ for this research to build a Rural Development Index (RDI). Second, the RDI is developed as a tool to evaluate the current status and process of rural development. Third, the paper examines the current status and development process of Vietnam's rural development using the RDI. The scope of this study covered 63 regions (58 provinces and 5 municipalities) in Vietnam. This research can be used to establish mid- and long-term visions and strategies of rural development policies in Vietnam.