|Infants at the Tu Du Hospital in HCM City. A survey by the General Statistics Office shows infant mortality rate has decreased to 14.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the past five years.—VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — At the stroke of midnight on April 1 of this year, the population of Viet Nam hit approximately 90.5 million; around 44.6 million males and 45.8 million females.
The new numbers came from the 2014 Inter-Censal Population and Housing Survey (IPS), presented yesterday at the Dissemination Conference organised by the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Four censuses have been carried out in Viet Nam since unification in 1975, but this was Viet Nam's first ever inter-censal population and housing survey.
In the last five years the population increased by more than 4.6 million, averaging around 929,200 per year.
The inter-censal survey also confirmed that the average fertility rate for women is 2.09 children. Nguyen Thi Xuan Mai, director of the Department of Population and Labour Statistics under the GSO, said that it was a sign that the country's fertility rate has successfully declined and is holding stable around the replacement level mandated by the government.
The findings of the IPS also indicates that the sex ratio is 112.2 males per 100 females, a slight increase since the 2009 census' findings of 110.5 male births per 100 female births.
The infant mortality rate decreased to 14.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. "This confirms that the Government's efforts over the past years to improve maternal and child health care has been successful," said Mai.
Only two cities and one province docked a population of more than three million people. HCM City tallied at 7.9 million, Ha Noi at 7.06 million and Thanh Hoa central province at 3.4 million. More than 30 per cent of Viet Nam's population lives in urban areas.
The 2014 IPS data reveals that the total dependency ratio is 44 per cent. The number of people aged 65 and older is 7.1 per cent. With an increasing aging index, now at 44.6 per cent, Viet Nam's population is aging on a curve.
The inter-censal also confirms progress in other realms. Only 4.4 per cent of the population aged 5 and over have never attended school. "It shows progress towards the elimination of illiteracy," said Mai.
Improvements in living conditions were also noted. Only 46.6 per cent of households live in houses with good conditions.
The survey data came from questionnaires collected from five per cent of the country's households. Statistics offices, from district to the central level, contributed to number collecting and crunching efforts.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Viet Nam provided technical and financial support.
Arthur Erken, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam, said that the survey provided important population indicators needed to evaluate the successfulness of the country's socio-economic development policies and to finalise the Millennium Development Goals.
Reducing the pressure of a growing population will help Viet Nam improve their economy, infrastructure, healthcare, education and other services.
In-depth analysis on the survey should be conducted, he said. — VNS