Vietnam’s fertility rate remains steady and below replacement level: UNFPA

The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) continued to fall below the replacement level and reached 2.08 children per woman, said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the Vietnam 2008 Population Booklet published recently.

According to the UNFPA, although Vietnam has achieved below replacement level fertility, there are some sub-national variations with an average of 1.84 children per woman in urban areas and 2.22 in rural areas.

In addition, Vietnamese women tend to give birth at older age. Fertility is now mostly concentrated in the age range of 25-34 for urban and 20-29 for rural women.

The booklet confirms the continuing relationship between fertility and female education levels, with high fertility more prevalent among less educated women.

The booklet also shows that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has declined from 16 infant deaths in 2007 to 15 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008 while the Crude Death Rate, which reflects the annual number of deaths per 1,000 population, is estimated at 5.3 per thousand, contributing to a decline in the Rate of Natural Increase of Population to 11.4 per thousand, lower than in the 2007 survey (11.8). “Low Mortality Rates in the past years confirm Vietnam’s progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and positive achievements in overall development as well as improvements in the national health care system”, says the booklet.

Due to the decrease in mortality, and increase in life expectancy, Vietnam’s population is expected to grow in the upcoming years, UNFPA forecasts.