Vietnam’s aging population expected to work longer in future

Last update 08:00 | 08/04/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – The World Bank has estimated that by 2030, nearly one-fifth of Vietnamese will enter old age and around 40 percent of the population aged 70-74 will still have to work, mostly in the unofficial labor market.

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Nguyen Thi Be, about 60, from Thai Binh province, has been living and working as a housemaid for a family in Hanoi for nearly one decade.

Thai Binh was considered the rice granary in the north. However, Be said, the rice fields in her homeland have been left uncultivated for years. It is because farmers now cannot earn their living only on field work.

Be said there are many local people like her: they have left the countryside for large cities where they find the jobs as hired workers for factories or households.

The World Bank has estimated that by 2030, nearly one-fifth of Vietnamese will enter old age and around 40 percent of the population aged 70-74 will still have to work, mostly in the unofficial labor market.

The income they get from the jobs is just high enough to cover their basic needs, but it is higher than the income from farm work.

With no social insurance, no accumulative assets and no support from children, they have to work hard in difficult conditions, and in many cases, in conflict with the laws.

Official reports all show that Vietnam is getting richer, but the number of people like Be has been increasing rapidly.

A report of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) on the economic growth in rural areas released in 2015 showed that rural people are getting poorer.

In 2014, farmers’ net income was VND51.7 million per annum, much lower than VND84.7 million in 2012. The number of rural people unsatisfied with their lives increased by six percentage points, from 50.1 percent in 2012 to 56.1 percent in 2014.

Pham Quang Tu from Oxfram Vietnam warned that the situation may be even gloomier. The unemployment rate among the working-age population is increasing.

The situation is unlikely to improve as private firms are struggling in the open market and meeting difficulties in accessing capital and technology resources.

If the economy does not provide enough jobs for working-age people, the number of  older people who still have to work to earn their living will increase.

It is foreseeable that the ‘golden population’ period in Vietnam would be over in 10 years. By that time, the people at working age will become old, who, together with those losing their work capability, will be a burden on the pension fund.

According to the World Bank, by 2030, nearly one fifth of the population will enter old age, while the figure would be 30 percent by 2050.


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This entry was posted in Lao động - labor and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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