return icon

Vietnam’s GDP per capita is $3,000 per annum

Vietnamese income has improved significantly, but it has not reached the $3,000per capita threshold as calculated by General Statistics Office, economists say.

GSO announced it has applied a more reasonable calculation method, with which Vietnam’s GDP per capita is $3,000 per annum, or $400 higher than the figure found with the old method.



Under the current applied method, Vietnam’s economy in 2018 had value of $240 billion, or VND5,500 trillion, and the GDP per capita was $2,590 per head per annum.

GSO’s statement surprised many economists.

Bui Trinh, a respected economist, said this is an ‘unexpected result’. He questions the new method of calculating GDP, which GSO has not disclosed.

Trinh surmised that GSO might count the ‘underground economy’ when calculating GDP.

GSO announced it has applied a more reasonable calculation method, with which Vietnam’s GDP per capita is $3,000 per annum, or $400 higher than the figure found with the old method.

Whether to take the underground economy into account remains controversial in Vietnam.

According to Trinh, if counting the underground economy, or unobserved economic sector, this will ‘embellish’ the achievements of economic growth. However, this does more harm than good.

If counting the underground economy, the GDP would be higher, while the ratios of public debt on GDP and overspending on GDP would be lower. However, in fact, the exact figures of public debt and overspending have not decreased.

Trinh went on to say that if Vietnam tries to count the underground economy just to increase the GDP scale and prove that the public debt ratio on GDP is lower and the overspending to GDP ratio is not high, this will not bring any benefits. Vietnam cannot invent GDP calculation method, but it needs to calculate in accordance with the United Nations’ System of National Accounts (SNA), or internationally agreed standards.

Le Cong Nhuong, a National Assembly Deputy, also expressed his doubts about the GDP figure shown by GSO.

Nhuong said that Vietnamese income has improved significantly and the figure has exceeded the $2,600per head per annum threshold, but it still has not hit the $3,000 threshold.

Nhuong also thinks that GSO might have taken into account the value of the underground economy. If so, the GSO has arbitrarily applied additional norms which are not found in the UN’s statistics principles.

“GSP has to observe the calculation method set by the UN,” Nhuong said, adding that if Vietnam calculates GDP with another method, it won’t be able to compare Vietnam’s economy with others’ which are calculated in accordance with SNA.

Nhuong warned that if Vietnam counts the underground economy when calculating GDP, it will acknowledge the legality of activities prohibited by laws. This would have negative effects to the national economy and policy making.

Mai Lan 


Vietnam's GDP climbs 6.76 per cent in six months

Vietnam's GDP climbs 6.76 per cent in six months

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.76 per cent in the first half of this year, the second highest rate since 2011.  

Services sector could boost Vietnam’s GDP growth to over 7% in 2019

Services sector could boost Vietnam’s GDP growth to over 7% in 2019

The services sector in case of growing over 7.2% in 2019 could boost Vietnam’s GDP to be equivalent or even higher than last year's growth of 7.08%, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).  


Hanoi's tourism shows strong recovery since March 2022

Eight months after the reopening of international travel, Hanoi has seen substantial development in the tourism sector.

The natural beauty of Trang An

Trang An Landscape Complex is a mixed cultural and natural property within three protected areas, including the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong Scenic Landscape, and the Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest.

Screening tool to bump up FIE quality

Achecklist for appraisal of foreign-invested ventures in Vietnam will help the country woo desired foreign funding.

Lacking money, work on privately funded thermal power projects stalls

The thermal power projects developed by private investors all have been going slowly because of multiple problems.

Boosting international railway transport investment

The initial successes of the railway container transport network from Vietnam to Europe have inspired engagement with the international railway network.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (November 28-December 4)

Upcoming entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on November 28-December 4.

Wood manufacturers on alert for unpredictable new year prospects

While the United States is nearing a stance on imported wood that will affect Vietnam, domestic producers are being urged to modernise to survive.

Planning and Investment Ministry releases round-up of business results

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has just released the Enterprises White Book 2022, which confirmed the ratio of loss-making foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) is much more than other sectors.

Putting Vietnamese silk on the world map

VN has a long tradition of silk production and silk weaving. However, the Vietnamese silk brand is faint on the world map, a silent shadow behind foreign big brands.

Facilitating capital flows

Vietnam’s stock and property markets are struggling with volatile capital flows. If the situation is not properly tackled, dire consequences would be unavoidable.

Young singers entertain fans with new content

Young Vietnamese singers have been busy bringing new music content to audiences from now to the year end.

PM inspects infrastructure projects in HCM City

PM Pham Minh Chinh on November 27 inspected a number of infrastructure projects in HCM City, including the expansion of Binh Hung waste treatment plant, the construction of Ben Luc-Long Thanh expressway and the upgrading of National Highway 50.

Tiny traditional houses provide cultural model

To teach future generations about the symbolic meaning of the traditional house, an artisan in Plei Kte Village in the central province of Gia Lai has weaved many miniature communal houses from bamboo wicker.

Authentic Korean flavour in Hanoi

Dalgoogi Makchang is located in the Nam Trung Yen urban centre in Cau Giay District, which is dubbed as “little Korea”, about 10km from central Hanoi.


Vietnam, UK yet to tap potential of trade deal