In Vietnam, the poor have long been assumed to be t he ethnic minorities mostly living in the highlands . After more than two decades of introducing Doi moi 2 policy into the economy, along with having enjoyed various improvements in social and economic aspects, the di sparities between the majority and ethnic majoritie s, the lowlands and the highlands, and between regions, st ill have been widened. This paper aims at examining income inequality, its affecting factors in rural areas, a nd exploring the current situation of regional econ omic disparities using both development policy review and econometri cs approaches. Data from Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey (VHLSS) 2008 was used in the study. The expenditure per capita was employed as the dep endent variable to regress with household characteristics and resources. In addition, the regional dummy vari ables were employed to show the different effects from differe nt geographic locations. The results showed that th e household characteristics and resources such as education lev el, perennial land area, water surface area, and th e accessibility to infrastructure facilities such as road, electric ity and local market had positive effect on expendi ture. Furthermore, the North Central Coast region showed negative impact on household expenditure. Interesti ngly, this finding does not absolutely follow the hypothesis a nd indicates that the economic development strategy and polices should be adjusted to decrease the gap amon g regions based on their economic advantages for ba lancing the economic situation of the whole country in the future.