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Huge rich-poor gap cause for concern: report

Update: March, 06/2014 - 10:04

HA NOI (VNS)— The rich-poor and urban-rural gap in Viet Nam remains huge and is a serious problem that policy makers should pay due attention to, a new report says.

The report, released by Viet Nam's General Statistics Office (GSO) and the World Bank (WB) on Tuesday, shows that earnings of Vietnamese urban residents in 2012 were almost double of their rural counterparts. The average monthly income of people living in cities was VND3 million (US$142), against VND1.6 million ($76) in rural areas.

The country's poorest residents earned an average VND512,000 ($24) per month, up 38.5 per cent from 2010, while corresponding figures for the well-off were VND4.8 million ($227) and 40 per cent.

Figures matter

Tran Thi Hang, deputy head of GSO, said that her agency has always sought to improve the quality of its research and information in the service of domestic and international agencies.

She emphasised the need of making data more accessible for users and promoting its use by State-run agencies, research institutes and universities so that such studies play a greater role in residents' lives.

For instance, investigating and comparing the use of land over the last 10 years would provide a sound foundation for better land management in the country, she said.

The World Bank's lead economist for Viet Nam, Sandeep Mahajan, said the report can be considered a major tool for the bank, the country's policymakers and researchers. He echoed Hang's call for further promotion of similar studies.

The GSO conducts annual surveys on Vietnamese residents' living standards, based on several factors including monthly income and expenditure on food, education and healthcare. — VNS

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