“Vietnam Stats Show Remarkable Progress”

Well, yes and no…

Positives:  advances in health and education + cash income; increase in average living space from 9.2 m2 to 16.9 m2; literacy is now 94%, “almost universal among younger groups and there is little difference between urban and rural;” increase in life expectancy to 72.8 years (“largest gains among women,” not surprisingly); 1.2% population growth rate; greater access to safe water supplies (86% of population) and hygienic toilet facilities (56%)

Vietnam can now look forward to two decades of the so-called “demographic dividend” – a low dependency ratio as the proportion of people under 15 continues to fall while numbers over 65 grow slowly.

Negatives:  gender imbalance  – 110 male to 100 female births nationwide (natural 104/100 ratio) – most extreme in the Red River Delta, where it is now 115/100.  End result in the next 20 years?  Not enough women of marriageable age=social instability, human trafficking, etc.

From a 23 July article in the Asia Sentinel (Hong Kong)

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