Vietnam’s population is expected to increase to 107 million in 2044, before dropping to 72 million in 2100 due to low birth rates.
Ha Anh Duc, office head of the Ministry of Health, said at a Friday conference that an international study issued in 2020 forecast that the population in 23 countries, including China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, will be reduced by half in 2100.
The study said Vietnam’s population may rise to 107 million in 2044 before dropping to 72 million in 2100, if there are no measures to increase birth rates.
The country’s current population is over 100 million people, with quickly dropping birth rates, and aging.
In several Asia-Pacific countries, birth rates have been significantly dropping over the last 70 years, according to the health ministry. South Korea for example has the lowest total fertility rate (TFR) in the world at 0.8, much lower than the 2.1 required as replacement fertility level.
“The number of people aged over 60 in the region is expected to triple in the 2010-2050 period,” Duc said.
Over the past few decades, Vietnam has seen birth rates dropping from 6.5 children per woman in the 1960s to 2.05 in 2020. And while Vietnam and France have similar birth rates, it took France 115 years to go from having an aging population (at least 7% of the population aging 65 and above) to an aged population (at least 14% of the population aging 65 and above). It only took 19 years for Vietnam.
Birth rates vary wildly between different Vietnamese localities, said Mai Trung Son from the Vietnam Population Authority. HCMC has the lowest birth rates among them, at only 1.39 children per woman in their reproductive age.
Every year, there is an estimated 1 million couples in Vietnam who cannot have children biologically, accounting for around 7.7% of all couples. Among them, around half are those aged below 30. Low birth rates would directly impact the population structure, leading to a reduced number of those in working age and affecting migration, among other effects, said Duc.
Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, deputy health minister, said birth rates in most continents are dropping to levels much lower than required for replacement fertility, leading to workers’ shortages and other issues related to an aging population. Labor shortages are expected to be widespread globally after 2055, and is one of the most challenging problems for humankind in the 21st century.
Countries have introduced several policies to create changes to birth rates, such as encouraging couples to have children by giving them more financial aids, or by giving them tax exemptions.
In Vietnam, a draft for the Law on Population is proposing localities with low birth rates to provide financial support for women birthing second children, as well as giving the children tuition exemptions.
Source: VN Express