In 1999 and 2009, the General Statistics Office of Vietnam conducted two Vietnam Living Standard Measurement Survey (LSMS) with a goal to evaluate population, demography and other socio-economic implications. These two national censuses, combined with the data gathered by the World Bank, help document the trends and prospects of population now and in the years to come.
As reflected on the graph below, Vietnam population has steadily risen from 66.2 in 1990 to 87.2 in 2009. This data was provided by the World Bank and seemed substantially higher than the number 86.02 million of people from the most recent LSMS.
Vietnam Population from 1990 to 2009, data by World Databank (2011)
It should be recognized, however, that Vietnam population has increased by more than 20 million in the past 20 years, or almost 30% of the population in the 1990s. This trend can be attributed to a number of factors. First, Vietnam crude birth rate, defined as the number of babies born per 1000 people a year, has reduced by half, probably thanks to growing awareness about population issue and the government’s active role in promoting family planning.
The reduced crude birth rate is couple with the decrease in fertility rate – average number of children that a woman have, from 3.53 in 1990 to 2.03 in 2009. Both of these downward trends are both offset by the fact that the number of women coming of age is still growing. Therefore, even when the number of baby born to each woman decrease, the overall population still rise quite significantly.
Vietnam Crude Birth Rate and Fertility Rate from 1990 to 2009, data by World databank (2011)
A second remark that must be made is that the growth fluctuates over the years. Population growth rate of Vietnam decreased from 2.18% in 1990 to 1.29% in 1999, before rising and balancing between 1.20 to 1.23% in recent years.
Last but not least, life expectancy of both Vietnamese women and men has seen a lot of improvement in the past 20 years. Men’s life expectancy, for example, rose from 63.7 years in 1990 to 72.6 years in 2009. Women’s life expectancy has seen even better improvement, from 67.3 in 1990 to 76.6 in 2009. That said women still outlive men for 4 years and this gap has remained the same over the past two decades.