Opportunities and challenges ahead as Vietnam population hits 90 million

HA NOI - Viet Nam's population has reached 90 million, ranking 14th among the countries with the largest population in the world, 8th in Asia and 3rd in Southeast Asia, according to Dr Duong Quoc Trong, director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning.

The new record was marked yesterday, November 1. To celebrate the occasion, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien visited Nguyen Thi Thuy Dung, who was born at 2.45am yesterday at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Ha Noi to become Viet Nam's 90 millionth citizen.

The baby, weighing 3.2kg, was born to mother Le Thi Duyen and father Nguyen Van Dung, who come from the northern city of Hai Duong. She is the couple's second child.

Doan said the infant's coming into existence represented the birth of a new generation, promising many new opportunities for the country's development.

Dr Duong Quoc Trong, director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning said that in 1989, after a comprehensive population survey was conducted, Viet Nam's population was predicted to reach 90 million by 2002 and 105 million in 2010.

But it wasn't until today that Viet Nam's population reached 90 million, thanks to the country's efforts to curb population growth.

Trong said that Viet Nam's large population and resulting huge pool of human resources made it an attractive market for businesses and investors.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Viet Nam is now in a period known as the 'golden population structure', which means that for every two people or more working, there is only one dependent person.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Viet Nam to soar if we can take advantage of such a demographic bonus," Trong said.

He added, however, that with the opportunity come considerable challenges.

One major challenge is the fact that Viet Nam has inferior human resources compared to many other countries.

Another is that since 2011, Viet Nam's population has started ageing. Viet Nam is one of the five most quickly ageing countries in the world, according to several studies.

Trong said the current priority was keeping children healthy to ensure a strong population.