VietNamNet Bridge - Given that the average number of 1.3 children of HCM City’s women  today is an "alarming sign," the head of the General Department of Population has recommended Saigon women to have two children and changed the slogan from "two children are enough" to "Two children are better."


On July 17, Dr. Duong Quoc Trong, head of the General Department of Population said that the average birth rate of Vietnam is 2.05 children but the rate is not uniform in all regions.

In 2011, the average number of children per woman of childbearing age in HCM City was 1.3. The year 2012 was considered “good” for having a baby but the rate was only 1.33. In some other provinces in the southeast and southwestern regions, the fertility rate is relatively low, only 1.5 to 1.6.

According to Trong, maintaining too low birth rate will lead to labor shortages. He added that the population - reproductive health strategy for 2011-2020 does not focus only on reducing the birth rate but aims at the five specific objectives as follows: Raising population quality, improving maternal and child health, promoting advantages of the “golden population structure,” actively adjusting population growth and controlling the sex ratio at birth.

Facing the reduction of birth rate in some provinces, it is suggested that the state should allow people to have birth at their desire. Trong said that the General Department of Population has had three "scenarios": 1) If the high birth rate is applied, the population will reach the peak in 2060 with about 120 million people. 2) With the low birth rate, the population of Vietnam will reach 100 million in 2040. 3) With the average and reasonably low birth rates, the maximum population in 2050 will be 110 million.

The first option is not selected because Vietnam is one of the most populous countries in the world at present. It ranks 14th in population size but its population density ranks 3rd in Southeast Asia, 1.8 times more than that of China - the world's most populous country. If the population increases highly, the population density will also increase, creating enormous pressure for economic and social development.

The second option is also excluded because the low birth rate will shorten the time for population aging, creating pressure on health care for the elderly. As a rule, after reaching the peak, the population will reduce.

"China's severe implementation of the one-child policy has caused the current disease - 4-2-1, meaning 4 grandparents, 2 parents take care of one child. The child is treated like a king by six adults so he can become a person who cannot do anything and 20 years later he will have to take care of the six elderly. This is a disaster. Therefore, we have suggested the reasonably low birth rate, accepting population increase by 2020 to have a reasonable population structure between the children and the working-age people and the elderly," Trong shared the lessons learned from the neighboring country.

Mai Lan