Ba Ria-Vung Tau had the highest average Gross National Income (GNI) per capita among all Vietnam localities in 2020 at $34,580, according to a General Statistics Office (GSO) report.
The Human Development Index report by the GSO, announced this week, ranks all 63 Vietnam localities on three criteria: health, education and income. Among the 10 localities with the highest average GNI per capita, six are in northern Vietnam – Bac Ninh, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc, and four in the south – Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s average GNI per capita is 1.6 times that of Quang Ninh, the runner-up, at $21,500.
In the 2016-2020 period, Hai Phong and Ninh Thuan saw their GNI grow the most, by 1.74 times, followed by Thanh Hoa, 1.66 times, Quang Ninh, 1.61 times, and Lao Cai 1.57 times.
Nationwide, Vietnam’s average GNI per capita grew from $6,211 in 2016 to $8,132 in 2020, translating to around 7 percent of annual growth.
Vo Tri Thanh, an economics expert, said localities with top average GNI per capita all hold multiple advantages for economic growth, especially for commerce, industry, services and tourism.
For example, Ba Ria-Vung Tau has gas, oil and industry, while Binh Duong and Bac Ninh are both among Vietnam’s largest industrial centers that attract high amounts of FDI. Quang Ninh has minerals and a strong service sector too.
However, the average GNI per capita doesn’t necessarily reflect actual income. For example, Ba Ria-Vung Tau might have the highest average GNI per capita, but local incomes are not actually that high.
“The Human Development Index (HDI) considers criteria like medical access and education. Localities with high incomes don’t necessarily have higher HDI than others with lower incomes if their education and medical access are poor,” Thanh explained.
Localities should pay more attention to improve their business environment, streamline policies and improve quality of life and public services to rank higher on the HDI, Thanh noted.
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