More than 70 per cent of the Vietnamese population has fully escaped poverty, with at least 14 million having joint the global middle class, a World Bank report found on Thursday.— Photo vneconomy.vn
HÀ NỘI — More than 70 per cent of the Vietnamese population has fully escaped poverty, with at least 14 million having joint the global middle class, a World Bank report found on Thursday.
According to the report which studied poverty reduction in Việt Nam during the 2014-16 period, the number of Vietnamese considered economically secure reached approximately 75 million in 2016. The new class of ‘emerging consumers’ are defined as earning enough to cover basic daily needs, being able to save, and spending over US$5.5 a day per capita.
The number of those emerging consumers shot up by about 20 per cent in the last six years, correspondingly, the number of people living in poverty reduced by 20 per cent over the same period.
Between 2014 and 2016, a staggering three million Vietnamese people joined the global middle class.
The rapid rise of the new consumer class is set to transform lifestyle trends in Vietnamese society as citizens strive for higher living standards and better quality service. This in turn will cause a shift in the country’s economic model towards the service and consumer industries, according to the report.
The steady increase of economic growth over the last decade fundamentally helped to eliminate poverty in Việt Nam, the report said, noting that poverty declined in all demographics of the population.
The number of people living in poverty in 2016 sat at around 9.1 million. This was following an average reduction of 1.85 per cent a year between 2014 and 2016. This rate was positively higher than the Government’s annual goal of 1.5 per cent reduction as outlined in its National Target Programme on Poverty Reduction for 2016-20.
Households of ethnic minorities – the most vulnerable to poverty – living in poor conditions witnessed a record decline over the last decade. Close to two million ethnic minority people climbed the economic ladder, equivalent to the number of poor people declining from 8.4 million in 2010 down to 6.6 million in 2016.
“Việt Nam has achieved tremendous results in reducing poverty and improving the quality of life for millions,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Việt Nam.
“The decline in poverty amongst ethnic minorities is encouraging, and more focused efforts on improving their incomes can further broaden their opportunities and reduce persistent inequalities.”
“The aspirations of those with less opportunity cannot be ignored.”
The report did however point out a disturbing fact regarding who was being left behind in the country’s development. Some 72 per cent of people currently living in poverty are ethnic minorities, the report found - an increase from just 47 per cent eight years ago.
It may not be a mere coincidence when the northern mountainous regions and the central highlands, where most of the ethnic minorities are residing, also had more than half of the country’s total poor people. — VNS