Vietnam HCMC’s Fertility Rate Alarming Low, Third Child Tipped

The total fertility rate of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s most populous locality, was 1.33 children in 2018, which was significantly lower than the country’s replacement-level fertility of 2.1 children, state media reported from a workshop in the city on November 26. Ho Chi Minh City is currently named among 17 localities with the lowest fertility rates in Vietnam, which is expected to lead to a quickly aging population and pressure the city’s welfare system including pensions, health insurance, and social security. Ms. Pham Thi My Le, deputy head of the municipal Population-Family Planning Office, attributed the situation to life and work pressures, late marriage, late childbirth, and an overall aversion to giving birth, along with higher education levels, improved living conditions, the growth of ‘trendy’ lifestyles, and the enjoyment of childless life. To deal with the problem, the Ho Chi Minh City should make the most out of the decades-old two-child policy, encourage couples to have third child, increase population quality, and change policies to attract more young laborers to work in the city, suggested Mr. Le Truong Giang, chairman of the city’s Public Health Association. (Thanh Nien, Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre)