Majority senior citizens in Vietnam live on low income

More than 70 percent of senior citizens live in the countryside in Vietnam and work on farms for a low and unsteady income, said the Ministry of Health on December 4.

Just around 25 percent enjoy pension and 20 percent are under social welfare

In Hanoi, the Ministry launched the ‘National Action Month on Population’ on December 4, themed ‘An Aging Population-Challenges in looking after the elderly’.

The Ministry said that as much as 70 percent of elderly people in Vietnam live in rural areas and earn a very low income from farm work. Just around 25 percent enjoy pension and 20 percent are under social welfare.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Viet Tien said that from 2011 Vietnam entered the ‘aging population phase’ with the rate of over 65-year-olds now forming seven percent of the population.

For more than 40 years, the lifespan of the country’s elderly has been steadily increasing.

The average lifespan has increased and birth rate mortality has declined; hence, number of elderly people has soared.

Despite the growing life expectancy, 95 percent of the elderly in Vietnam are burdened with chronic ailments and most medical centers lack medicines, equipment and personnel to take care of them.

The trend now is of elderly people living a lonely life rather than living jointly with their adult children and their off-springs. The ratio of elderly people living with their children has decreased from 80 to 62 percent.

By Quoc Lap – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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