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Vietnam’s population set to become super-aging by 2050: official
The Saigon Times Daily
Saturday,  Dec 14, 2019,17:09 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s population set to become super-aging by 2050: official

The Saigon Times Daily

A doctor offers a free health checkup to a senior citizen in the south-central coastal province of Binh Dinh. Vietnam is poised to become a super-aging country by 2050 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Vietnam will become a super-aging country by 2050, but the country is not prepared to adapt to the rapid pace of aging and provide care for the growing elderly population, heard those attending a workshop in Hanoi on December 12.

The workshop on the country’s aging population and health was held by the General Department for Population and Family Planning (GOPFP) under the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) of Japan and the Institute of Population, Health and Development (PHAD).

GOPFP Deputy General Director Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency as saying that Vietnam officially entered an “aging phase” in 2011, with 7% of the population above age 65.

The figure has grown to 8.3% this year, equivalent to over eight million people. In the next three decades, the figure is projected to rise to 18%.

Such a rapid pace of aging has placed a great burden on Vietnam’s healthcare and other social security issues for senior citizens, but the country has yet to prepare for that, she noted.

In 2018, the ERIA teamed up with PHAD to conduct a study of older people, including surveying the health of the elderly, questioning some 6,050 older people in 10 cities and provinces in Vietnam, from early December 2018 to late May 2019.

The findings show that over 57% of old people asked were women, over 82% of them were married, and about 70% lived in rural areas. The percentage of older people who live alone was relatively low, around 11% for women and 4% for men.

The study also reveals that more than 62% of the respondents said they were suffering from high blood pressure, 86% of whom were receiving treatment. About 40% did not know whether they have high blood pressure.

Some 56% were satisfied with their sleep, over 6% showed signs of depression and 4.4% displayed signs of dementia. Some 91% owned a health insurance card.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, a programme official from UNFPA, said that population aging is one of the most significant social transformations globally, with one in 11 people in the world over age 65 this year. By 2050, one out of six people is expected to exceed 65 years of age.

The aging population in Vietnam is partly due to falling birth rates in all six socio-economic regions and ethnic minority groups, Quynh said.

According to experts, Vietnam needs to have a healthcare strategy and ensure good health for the elderly during their life circle.

They also attached significance to initial healthcare, preventive care, medical and non-medical care, as well as healthcare services at home and in the community.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently approved the Vietnam Population Strategy by 2030. The country will return the gender ratio to its natural balance and maintain a reasonable age structure.

By 2030, the percentage of children under 15 years old is expected to reach 22%, the percentage of elderly people aged 65 and older will be 11%, and the age dependency ratio will be 49% of the national population.

The country also aims to improve the quality of the population, promote rational population distribution and utilize the golden population structure, while adapting to the aging population.

The General Statistics Office of Vietnam said, in the 2019 Population and Housing Census, that the national population stood at 96.2 million, as of April this year, ranking third in Southeast Asia and 15th in the world.

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