Wednesday , May 29 2024

Vietnam could shrink to 3.6 million people by 2500: UN

The United Nations predicted Vietnam’s population to shrink to only 3.6 million in the year 2500 if the current low birth rate is not improved.

Vietnam’s total fertility rate this year is at 1.95 children per woman, a drop compared to last year’s 2.01 ratio and a replacement ratio of 2.1.

If Vietnam fails to keep the replacement ratio of 2.1. and increase the existing low birth rate, the population will drop to several tens of thousands of people by 2700, said Mai Trung Son, deputy head of the Department of Population Size and Family Planning under the General Office for Population and Family Planning of Vietnam.

Son was citing a U.N. report at a session on population data on Tuesday.

Two areas with the most alarming birth rates were the eastern parts of southern Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, and the Mekong Delta, where birth rates fell to 1.5 children per woman on average. In HCMC, it stays at only 1.27, the lowest in the country.

The U.N.’s recent report is by far the furthest prediction about Vietnam’s population, which now stays at 100 million.

In the past 60 years, Vietnam’s population growth rate has kept falling, from 3.9% in 1960 to 1.14% in 2019 and 0.95% in 2021.

According to the General Statistics Office, in the scenario of average birth rates, by 2069, Vietnam’s population growth rate will reach 0.

In the low birth rate scenario, in another 35 years, Vietnam will face the reality of a negative population growth rate.

The GSO explains that the basis for population forecasts relies on using the current population to establish assumptions about birth rates, mortality rates, and migration and from there, future trends are projected. This method is also how it is done globally.

The U.N.’s forecast in 2022 shows that the world’s annual population growth peaked in 1963 (2.3%), then decreased to 0.9% in 2023, equivalent to an increase of about 74 million people each year.

The ratio is expected to decline further, to -0.1% in 2100.

Based on this data, the U.N. predicts the world population at 8 billion in 2023 and will peak in 2086, at 10.4 billion people. After that, the population will start to slowly decrease, assuming the global average birth rate continues to fall from 2.5 births per woman in the 2015-2020 period to 1.8 in 2100.

The same method is applied to the population forecast in Vietnam, said Ha Anh Duc, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Health.

He said Vietnam’s population is expected to increase to 107 million in 2044, then decrease to 72 million in 2100 if no interventions to increase the birth rate are made.

Vietnam is in the transition from high to low birth rates, from having children early to late in life, and from a young population structure to an aging population phase.

South Korea currently has the world’s lowest birth rate. Its population has been decreasing for 43 consecutive months as of August.

In Japan, the birth rate has declined for the seventh consecutive year, reaching a record low. The number of newborns in 2022 was nearly 800,000, a 5.1% decrease compared to the previous year, the lowest since 1899, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health.

Low birth rates directly impact the population structure, reducing the number of people of working age, and affecting migration, among other effects.

Several countries with low birth rates have introduced measures to slow down the decline. For example, the South Korean government has increased its budget to encourage people to have children, such as by increasing financial support for families to have more children.

In Hungary, women with at least four children do not have to pay personal income taxes.

In Vietnam, a draft for the Law on Population is being made by the health ministry, with proposals that encourage women to have two children, providing them financial support after having their second child. Other measures include reduced or waived tuition for kindergarteners and primary school students, especially for those at industrial parks.

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