Draft Law on Population to be put before NA meeting.
A draft Law on Population that would allow Vietnamese parents to have more than two children will be discussed during the ongoing National Assembly (NA) session.
Couples will have the right to decide on the number of children they have and the time between births. “Loosening the policy may cause the population to increase in the short term but in the long term the birth rate will not increase a great deal,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Tan, Head of the General Office for Population Family Planning.
Figures from the General Office show that Vietnam had a population of 90.5 million people as at 2014 but that the birth rate in certain provinces, such as those in the Mekong Delta and the southern region, have been falling over the last five or six years.
“If the birth rate gets too low it can be difficult to raise it again,” said Mr. Tan. “We can seen what has happened in many nearby countries such as South Korea and Japan. They now have very low birth rates and changes in policy are not leading to higher rates.”
The proposal to loosen the country’s population policy has many for and many against. Mr. Tan explained that supporters argue that the provisions should return to those contained in the Population Ordinance 2003, which provided for couples to choose how many children they have and when, while those against believe the policy of having two children, first introduced in 1988 and then again in 2008, still has merit.
Population researchers have provided three scenarios for Vietnam’s population size.
In the first scenario, if the birth rate continues to fall the country’s population will be 99 million in 2049.
In the second, if current birth rates are maintained the population will be between 105 and 110 million by 2049.
In the third, with the policy loosened, the population will be 120 million by 2049.
According to Mr. Tan, opinions differ on these three scenarios. “Vietnam still needs to control its birth rate but how to do this appropriately without reducing the birth rate is a problem,” he said.