Gender imbalance in Vietnam 'severe'

By Le Nga   December 26, 2022 | 10:30 pm PT
Gender imbalance in Vietnam 'severe'
A woman and her two children. Illustration photo by Shutterstock
The gender imbalance of newborns in Vietnam this year is considered "severe," with 113.7 boys being born for every 100 girls, according to the General Office for Population and Family Planning.

Nguyen Doan Tu, head of the office, said Monday that the gender imbalance among newborns in certain regions is higher than the national average. For example, the northern highlands province of Son La has 117 boys born for every 100 girls, while the north central province of Nghe An has 116.6 boys born for every 100 girls.

"Gender imbalance among newborns is quickly rising and is already at a severe level," Tu said, adding that the imbalance is becoming apparent in both urban and rural areas.

The figures are based on incomplete data from Vietnam localities, Tu said, adding that the population office has not announced the number of babies born this year.

A 2020 population census by the General Statistics Office revealed that 112.1 boys were born that year for every 100 girls. The figure for 2019 was 111.5 boys born for every 100 girls. This means that the gender imbalance among newborns is widening year after year. The authorities are trying to keep the rate down to 111.4 boys born for every 100 girls.

The gender imbalance could be attributed to some people preferring sons to daughters, as well as the improper usage of technologies, such as sex selection with IVF. The law has also not been enforced appropriately enough to prevent such a trend, according to the population office.

A gender imbalance might lead to a surplus of males in the future and negatively affect the population structure, experts said. The General Statistics Office anticipated that Vietnam would have a surplus of 1.5 million males aged 15-49 by 2034.

There is a concern that as a result of this imbalance in the long run, girls might be pressured to marry young, quit school to raise a family, or that there could even be an increased demand for prostitution, leading to more cases of human trafficking involving women.

The Ministry of Health expects Vietnam's population to reach 100 million in 2023.

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