Vietnam’s population growth under control

Vietnam’s population growth is under control, Dr. Nguyen Ba Thuy, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Committee for Population, Family and Children announced at a press briefing in Hanoi, on July 5, to mark the World Population Day (July 11).

The country’s growth rate dropped to 1.26% in 2006 from 2.1% in 1989 with the average number of children being borne to o­ne woman slashed from 3.8 in 1989 to 2.33 in 1999 when the last study was conducted.

The country’s population was last recorded at 84.16 million in 2006, however, the number of newborn babies in the first six months of the year increased and is forecast to continue to rise for the remainder of the year.

Experts have singled out the poor participation of men in family planning as a major problem that needs to be addressed. Addressing the event, Ian Howie, Head Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), called o­n all Vietnamese men to recognise their responsibilities towards safe sexual relations, caring for their pregnant partners and sharing domestic duties while providing for their children.

With this year’s World Population Day themed “Men as Partners in Maternal Health”, the UNFPA called o­n countries to exert efforts to encourage men to contribute to controlling unintended pregnancies, family incomes and gender equality.

Realising the extent of the work required, Vietnam is planning to earmark nearly VND 700 billion (US$43.75 million) for promoting population control and family planning as well as child-care activities in 2007.

More than VND 560 billion of the fund will be provided by the State with remaining being sourced from donors.

In 2007, population control and family planning programmes will focus o­n tightening inspections of the population structure and improving the living conditions for communities.

The country also has set a target of reducing its birth rate to three per thousand in 2007 in order to keep its population at close to 85.3 million

According to the statistics, about 65% of the Vietnamese population are in the working age group. The number of dependent people (the elderly and children) o­n every working people (aged between 15-59) has continually reducing from 0.86 in 1989 to 0.7% in 1999 and is expected to drop to 0.5% by 2014.

The rate of poor households according to the new national standard has reduced to below 19%, and the average per capita income is estimated at US $729 a year.