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Vietnam Today

$140 million needed to tackle gender imbalance

Released at: 16:48, 26/12/2014

$140 million needed to tackle gender imbalance

Despite falling this year, Vietnam's gender imbalance at birth continues to cause alarm.

by Hoang Vu

Vietnam needs some VND3 trillion ($141 million) for projects aimed at addressing the gender imbalance at birth by 2020.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) said in its latest survey that the imbalance fell for the first time this year after rising constantly for the last several years.

According to the survey conducted by the General Department of Population and Family Planning under MoH, the gender ratio at birth in Vietnam is 112.4 boys to 100 girls, a fall from the 113.8 to 100 recorded in 2013. The survey was released on December 18.

The result comes from initial efforts to reduce the gender imbalance at birth conducted in recent years, said Mr. Nguyen Van Tan, Deputy Director General of the Department, adding that more action is needed to reach a sustainable reduction in the future.

Vietnam has had a gender imbalance at birth since 2006 and the situation has worsened every year since, according to MoH. In 2009 the ratio was 110.6/100, which increased to 111.2/100 in 2010, 111.9/100 in 2011, and 112.3/100 in 2012.

In 2013 it stood at 113.8/100 before climbing to 114/100 in the January - June period this year; the rate forecast for 2018. This discrepancy will likely leave 2 to 4 million men of marriageable age being unable to find a wife by 2050.

As at the end of April Vietnam’s total population was 90.49 million, ranking the country the 13th largest in the world and third largest in Southeast Asia, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). On average the population has increased by 930,000 people each year over the last five years. 

Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and northern Thanh Hoa province are the three most populous regions, with respective populations of 7.95 million, 7.06 million, and 3.49 million. 

Average annual population growth was 1.06 per cent in the 2009-2014 period and over 1.2 per cent in the 1999-2009 period. The fertility rate was 2.09 births per woman - the lowest in the last 35 years, according to the GSO.

However, the male to female ratio at birth has been alarming, at 1.12, higher than 1.1 in 2009 and the normal ratio of 1.04-1.06. Remarkably, the ratio reached 1.13 in rural areas and 1.1 in urban areas.

Average life expectancy in Vietnam stands at 73.2 years, or 70.6 for men and 76 for women. With a dependent population of 44 per cent and an over-65 population of 7.1 per cent, Vietnam is still experiencing a "golden population structure", MoH said.

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