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Ho Chi Minh City struggling to deal with slumping birth rate

Ho Chi Minh City struggling to deal with slumping birth rate

Tuesday, February 06, 2024, 09:00 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City struggling to deal with slumping birth rate
Many families in Ho Chi Minh City choose to stop at one child amid the city's low birth rate. Photo: Phuong Quyen / Tuoi Tre

Encouraging higher birth rates in Ho Chi Minh City may prove to be a challenging task, given the declining trend in childbirth.

The birth rate dropped to 1.32 in 2023 from 1.39 in 2022, which was attributed to a growing number of young married couples opting for a single-child family and a significant shift in the attitudes of young individuals toward marriage.

Addressing this issue poses a complex challenge for the city.

Finance is one of the main reasons for only-child families, but even high-income earners shared that they did not plan to have a second baby.

N.T.T.L., aged 39 and residing in Phu Nhuan District, said she and her husband work at foreign firms with their total incomes exceeding VND100 million (US$4,110) per month, but they chose to stick at having only one child.

L. cited their heavy workload and efforts to raise one child as the reason for their decision.

Due to their demanding work schedules, the couple typically relies on the paternal grandmother to pick up their 11-year-old daughter from school and provide care for her after school or during their overseas business trips.

Also having financial stability and support from grandparents like the family of L., N.V.K. and his wife are determined to forego a second birth.

“Much responsibility is needed to raise a kid to become a good citizen and fulfill their potential," K. said, adding that his wife is scared to have a second baby.

Many married couples have highlighted that the expenses associated with childcare are a significant factor preventing them from having another child.

A considerable number of young couples express a preference for one-child families, citing heavy workloads and workplace pressures as contributing factors to this choice.

Pham Chanh Trung, head of the Ho Chi Minh City Division of Population and Family Planning, pointed out that the decreasing birth rate could be attributed to the increasing pressures of modern life and a shift in people's perspectives on life.

The economic slowdown over the past year, intense competition to get decent jobs, young people’s tendency to late marriage, and infertility are also the causes, Trung continued.

Trung mentioned that city authorities are proactively addressing the issue of the low birth rate by raising public awareness.

They are concerned about the potential consequences, such as population aging and a labor shortfall.

Moreover, they are trying to formulate policies aimed at encouraging residents to have more children.

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