Vietnam is facing a growing gender imbalance among newborns, with 110.6 boys born as compared with 100 girls in 2009, said a health official.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Nguyen Ba Thuy, released this information at a press conference in Hanoi on July 2 to introduce activities to be held in response to the World Population Day (July 11).
Ten years ago, the infant gender ratio was 106.2 boys for every 100 girls, he said, citing the prenatal gender selection which occurs mainly in the Red River Delta provinces and in well-off families as a major reason.
According to last year’s census, by April 1, 2009, Vietnam ’s population had reached 85.79 million, of whom 70.4 percent were living in rural areas and the rest in urban centres.
The total fertility rate has dropped to below the replacement level, from 2.33 children per woman in 1999 to 2.03 children per woman last year.
Thuy said Vietnam’s population is aging, while the quality of the population and the human development index, especially in terms of height, weight and strength, remain low compared with regional nations.
He added that the country would cope with more challenges in the years to come as the numbers of child-bearing age women, unexpected pregnancy and abortion among juveniles and adults are on the rise.
To improve the quality of the population, the population and family planning sector will continue to better reproductive health services, keep the birth rate at a reasonable level and ensure the infant gender imbalance not exceed 115 boys for every 100 girls.