Before the nineteenth century, it was the capital of Dong Khau Dao, and it was known as one of the largest cities in the Mekong Delta.
Today, the city has a population of approximately 152,500. There are three industrial zones in this city, designated by the codes A, C1, and C. They attract a large number of businessmen from the Mekong Delta region.
Sa Dec has 9 subordinate administrative units;
The French writer Marguerite Duras lived in Sa Đéc during a three- to four-year period between 1928 and 1932. Her mother ran a school on the corner of Hùng Vương and Hồ Xuân Hương, where a school still exists today (now it is Trung Vuong Primary School). Duras met Huynh Thuy Le, the son of a wealthy Chinese family, and the two became involved in a love affair that became the basis for Duras's 1984 Prix Goncourt-winning novel, The Lover. The house of Huynh Thuy Le, at 255A Nguyen Hue Street, for many years an office for a government agency, has from 2007 been open to the public, with guides offering tours in French, English and Vietnamese.