The report on Population Change and Family Planning as of April 1, 2020 of the General Statistics Office shows that the average life expectancy at birth is a composite indicator to assess the probability of death of a population. Accordingly, the average life expectancy of Vietnamese people has barely changed compared to 2019.
Specifically, the average life expectancy of Vietnamese people is 73.7 years old. In which, the average life expectancy of men is 71 years and that of women is 76.4 years.
Compared with other countries in Southeast Asia, the report said, the average life expectancy at birth of Vietnamese people is higher than the regional average (70.5 years), ranking 5 out of 11 countries. It is known that the average life expectancy of Vietnam is only behind Singapore (83 years), Brunei (77 years), Thailand (75.5 years) and Malaysia (75 years).
“This is one of Vietnam’s achievements in improving people’s living standards,” said the General Statistics Office.
The report on Vietnam’s population aging trend titled “Vietnam: Adapting to an Aging Society” by the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) indicates that the process is Population aging in Vietnam is expected to accelerate in the near future. According to the scenario, the average fertility rate is predicted that by 2049, the number of elderly people will increase sharply to 19.6 million people, 3 times higher than in 2014 and will account for about 18.1% of the population.
With a declining birth rate and an increase in life expectancy, the elderly are expected to make up 10%-20% of Vietnam’s population by 2035. Vietnam’s old-age dependency ratio, calculated as the number of people over 65 years old divided by the number of people of working age, is estimated to double from 0.11 in 2019 to 0.22 in 2039.
Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, said that Vietnam has been successful in leveraging its abundant labor force to boost economic growth over the past 30 years.
“Now, with the aging population, Vietnam needs to quickly build the skills of its workforce to accelerate innovation and increase the productivity of the economy, as well as starting pension reform now to sustain the livelihoods of the elderly for decades to come,” emphasized Ms. Carolyn Turk.
Data from the report show that, as Vietnam gradually transitions to an aging population structure, Vietnam’s long-term growth rate in the period 2020–2050 will slow down by 0.9 percentage points compared to the past 15 years. In addition, meeting the needs of an aging society will cost an additional 1.4% to 4.6% of GDP and increase fiscal costs.
Faced with this situation, the report recommends that Vietnam needs to improve labor force participation and productivity, increase the efficiency of public spending, and strengthen the service delivery system. At the same time, Vietnam needs to change appropriate policies for the four sectors most affected by the aging trend. Including the labor market, pensions, health and aged care.