The current fertility rate in Ho Chi Minh City is 1.42 children per woman, showing a slight increase from 2022, but experts warn it is still notably low and raises concerns.
“In 2022, Ho Chi Minh City recorded a total fertility rate of 1.39 children per woman, and it is projected to increase slightly to 1.42 children per woman for 2023,” Pham Vu Hoang, deputy director of the General Department of Population and Family Planning, said during a conference organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health on Sunday.
“This data continues to signal the city’s very low fertility rate.”
Hoang acknowledged the city’s achievements in population-related efforts, citing the relatively high average life expectancy of its dwellers, at 76.3 years in 2022 compared to the national average of 73.6 years.
Despite these accomplishments, Ho Chi Minh City faces challenges, including a large population size, high density, and a continuing rise in population amidst a very low birth rate.
Ho Chi Minh City's demographic profile reveals a rapidly aging population, with more than one million residents aged over 60, representing over 11 percent of the total population.
On this occasion, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, called for collaborative efforts from all levels, sectors, unions, socio-political organizations, and the public to address these challenges.
Among the proposed solutions is a shift from family planning to population and development.
One of the strategic approaches includes actively implementing solutions for addressing the low fertility rate, emphasizing efforts to promote the message 'Every couple has two children' to citizens.
The initiative prioritizes proactive engagement with young people, encouraging them to take advantage of pre-marital counseling and health examinations.
Dr. Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, director of Hung Vuong Hospital in District 5, noted that 1,177 young couples voluntarily partook in health examinations before marriage in the city in 2023, a 24-percent jump from 2022.
However, pre-marital health examination and consultation activities still encounter a lack of awareness about their importance among the public, resulting in a limited initiative and readiness to participate in the program.