Monday , May 27 2024

Vietnam’s low birth rate keeps falling


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.

Mai Trung Son from the Vietnam Population Authority under the Ministry of Health said at a session on population data on Tuesday that falling birth rates were a global trend, but what’s happening in Vietnam was “faster than the world’s and more evident.”

In previous years, birth rates in urban areas were over 1.7 children per woman, but in the last two years, this rate has fallen to below 1.7.

In rural areas, this year’s birth rate has also been estimated to be below the replacement rate, while just a few years before, the birth rate was at around 2.4 children per woman.

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.

Over the last three years, while birth rates in 21 localities with low birth rates have slightly increased, several others still saw falling birth rates, including Bac Lieu, Hau Giang, Ben Tre, Binh Duong and HCMC.

Currently, only four localities manage to have birth rates at replacement levels: Hanoi, Lam Dong, Phu Yen and Binh Dinh.

“Amid the trend of global population decline, if Vietnam maintains its replacement birth rate, its population scale would stabilize at over 100 million people,” Son said.

Vietnam is far from the country with the issue. Several other countries in the Asia-Pacific have also seen reduced birth rates over the last 70 years. South Korea has the lowest fertility rate in the world, at a ratio of 0.8. Singapore at 1.1 and Japan 1.3.

Low birth rates directly impact the population structure, reducing the number of people of working ages, 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 increases 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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