Census: VN population is 85.8 mln, shows slower growth

By April 1, 2009, Vietnam had 85.789 million people with 49.5 percent being male and 50.5 female, according to the country’s general census.

The 2009 census found the total population was 85,789,573 as counted until April 1, a rise of 9.47 million from the 1999 census.

These results were made public at a teleconference in Hanoi on Aug. 13, which was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung.

With the population, Vietnam is the third most-populated country in Southeast Asia and 13th in the world.
The census shows Vietnam’s population rose by nearly 12 percent in the past ten years.

A traffic view in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s most populous city

This new population figure reflects a population growth rate of 1.2 percent a year between 1999 and 2009, lower than the 1.7 percent rate in the 1989-99 period, and the lowest rate within 50 years.

According to the census, Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous city with 7.12 million residents, followed by Hanoi with 6.44 million, the northern province of Thanh Hoa with 3,4 million, the central province of Nghe An with 2,9 million, and the southern province of Dong Nai with 2,48 million.

The province with the smallest population in Vietnam is mountainous Bac Kan in the north, home to only 294,000 residents. The biggest population explosion belongs to the southern province of Binh Duong, which saw its population double just within a decade.

Results show that the nation’s population is distributed unevenly, with the Red River Delta and the Mekong River Delta regions hosting up to 43 percent of the total, while the midlands and mountains to the north together with the Central Highlands were home to just 19 percent of the population.

The south-eastern region posted the highest population growth rate at 3.2 percent a year and the Central Highlands swelled due to an influx of immigrants by 2.3 percent a year.

Urban dwellers accounted for 29.6 percent of the population, their numbers rising 3.4 percent a year on average, while the head count of rural folks edged up by only 0.4 percent a year.
In terms of urbanization, the south-eastern region again leads the pack, with urbanites making up 57.1 percent of its population, followed by the Red River Delta region, with 29.2 percent.

The sex ratio has nearly balanced with 98.1 males to 100 females, an increase of 1.4 males per 100 females compared to 1999.

The sex ratio was found to be higher in the developed areas with occupations that need men’s labor and it was lower in areas where traditionally female occupations predominate. The south-eastern region was observed to have the lowest sex ratio.

The census also found that over 7,200 people have lived beyond a century, among many other findings.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy PM Hung said these key results serve as important grounds for relevant agencies to assess the effectiveness of the country’s socio-economic development strategy in the past decade in order to map out strategies at both national and local levels for the next ten years.

He urged relevant agencies to focus on analyzing, evaluating and processing the statistics accurately, and in a timely manner, so the statistics can be made public in full in September, 2010.

Present at the conference, a UNFPA representative said his organization saw it as an encouraging sign that Vietnam released the initial results of its census prior to other countries in the world.

UNFPA pledged to continue assisting Vietnam in analyzing the date, to help the country formulate socio-economic development strategies.

The organization urged Vietnam to focus on analyzing the sex ratio for the under-five group to see whether there is a trend of selecting gender. If the sex ratio rises, it will produce a long-term, powerful impact on the country’s socio-economic development in future.

By staff writers, combined by Quang Tri

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