During a conference on Friday, Ha Anh Duc, the office head of the Ministry of Health, emphasized that an international study released in 2020 predicts a significant decline in the population of 23 countries by the year 2100. This includes countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, where the population is anticipated to decrease by approximately half.
According to the study, in the absence of any initiatives to increase birth rates, Vietnam's population is projected to reach 107 million by 2044 and subsequently decline to 72 million by 2100.
Currently, the population of the nation exceeds 100 million individuals, characterized by rapidly declining birth rates and an increasingly aged demographic.
The health ministry reports a considerable decline in birth rates across multiple Asia-Pacific countries over the past 70 years. A prime example is South Korea, which currently holds the unfortunate distinction of having the world's lowest total fertility rate (TFR) at 0.8. This figure is significantly below the replacement fertility level of 2.1, indicating a worrisome trend.
According to Duc, there is an anticipated threefold increase in the elderly population (aged over 60) within the region from 2010 to 2050.
In the past few decades, Vietnam has witnessed a significant decline in birth rates, plummeting from 6.5 children per woman during the 1960s to a mere 2.05 in 2020. Notably, Vietnam and France currently share similar birth rates. However, the transition from an aging population (with at least 7% of individuals aged 65 and above) to an aged population (with at least 14% of individuals aged 65 and above) took France a lengthy 115 years, whereas Vietnam achieved this shift within a considerably shorter span of 19 years.
According to Mai Trung Son, an official from the Vietnam Population Authority, there is a significant disparity in birth rates across various regions in Vietnam. Among these localities, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) records the lowest birth rates with a mere 1.39 children per woman of reproductive age.
According to Duc, it is estimated that approximately 1 million couples in Vietnam are unable to conceive children naturally every year. This accounts for roughly 7.7% of all couples in the country. Interestingly, nearly half of these couples fall within the age group below 30. The consequences of low birth rates are far-reaching, as they directly influence the population structure by decreasing the number of individuals in their working years and impacting migration patterns, among other effects.
According to Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, deputy health minister, birth rates across various continents are declining significantly below the necessary levels for sustaining population growth, resulting in a shortage of workers and other complications associated with an aging society. This decline is anticipated to cause labor shortages on a global scale by 2055, making it one of the most formidable predicaments humanity will face in the 21st century.
Various countries have implemented a range of policies aimed at influencing birth rates, including providing increased financial support and offering tax exemptions as incentives to encourage couples to have children.
A proposed draft for the Law on Population in Vietnam suggests that regions with low birth rates should offer financial assistance to women giving birth to their second child. Additionally, the draft recommends granting tuition exemptions to these children.