There are 12.58 million people aged above 60 in the country, with over 4.3 million living alone or with grandchildren and needing support, a survey has found.
The survey on population change and family planning done by the General Statistics Office in April said the number of people over 60 has increased by more than 1.17 million since 2019 and now make up 12.8 percent of the population.
The results of the survey, involving 305,000 households in 7,600 localities, were announced on Thursday by Giang Thanh Long, director of the Institute of Public Policy and Management at the National Economics University, Hanoi.
The country has begun to age, he indicated.
“By 2029, 14 provinces are expected to have more elderly people than children, and in the following 10 years 41 cities and provinces will report that trend”.
More than 4.3 million sexagenarians live by themselves or with grandchildren under the age of 15 because their children have migrated to work, he said.
“This group of people has a limited ability to take care of themselves, so specific policies are needed to support them”.
Besides, 37 percent of people over 80 have disabilities related to at least one of seeing, hearing, walking, climbing stairs, and communicating, and rely on care for daily activities.
In most cases, spouses, children or grandchildren provide care.
This was the first time Vietnam integrated need for senior care into its population census.
Naomi Kitahara, the United Nations Population Fund’s representative in Vietnam, said Vietnam needs to improve its long-term health care policy for the elderly, and it needs public participation since it is a social problem.
Vietnam has officially entered the “aging phase” since 2011 with the number of people aged 65 years or more accounting for 7 percent of the total population, according to the Ministry of Health.
The number of old people will rise from 11.4 million in 2019 to 17.3 million 10 years later.
The number will rise to 31 million by 2069.
The Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs said care services for seniors should be rapidly developed since otherwise people consider it the son’s responsibility to take care of aging parents and so prefer to have male children, skewing the gender balance.
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