The 2019 Population and Housing Census was conducted at time point 0:00 a.m. on 1 April 2019 in accordance with Decision No. 772/QĐ-TTg dated 26 June 2018 by the Prime Minister. This was the fifth Population and Housing Census in Viet Nam since the country's reunification in 1975. The 2019 Population and Housing Census collected basic information on population and housing throughout the territory of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to inform the country’s socio-economic development policies and to monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals committed to by the Government of Viet Nam.
The 2019 Population and Housing Census collected basic information on the demographics of over 96.2 million people who were primary residents of nearly 26.9 million households in Viet Nam at 0:00 a.m. on 1 April 2019. To supplement information gathered on fertility, mortality, and migration, data on labor and employment and household living conditions was collected from the sample survey of 9% of households nationwide (approximately 8.2 million persons living in more than 2.3 million households). The 2019 Population and Housing Census utilized information technology in all aspects of the Census to improve information quality, increase the transparency of the statistical analysis process, shorten the time required for data processing, and reduce costs.
Following are some key indicators from the 2019 Census results:
The total population of Viet Nam was 96,208,984 persons, of which the male population was 47,881,061 persons, accounting for 49.8% of the total population, and the female population was 48,327,923 persons, or 50.2%. Viet Nam is the third most populous country in Southeast Asia (after Indonesia and the Philippines) and the fifteenth most populous country in the world . Viet Nam’s population increased by 10.4 million persons over the last decade. The average annual population growth rate from 2009-2019 was 1.14% per year, a slight fall compared to the rate from 1999-2009 (1.18% per year).
There were 26,870,079 total households across the country, a 4.4-million household increase from 2009. On average, each household had 3.6 persons, 0.2 persons per household lower than that in 2009. The average annual household growth rate from 2009-2019 was 1.8% per year, 1.2 percentage points lower than from 1999-2009. The last decade had the lowest household number growth rate in the last 40 years.
The population density of Viet Nam was 290 persons per km2, an increase of 31 persons per km2 compared to 2009. These results positioned Viet Nam as the third most densely populated country in Southeast Asia, behind the Philippines (363 persons per km2) and Singapore (8,292 persons per km2). The Red River Delta and South East regions had the highest population density in the country, with 1,060 persons per km2 and 757 persons per km2, respectively. The Northern Midlands and Mountain areas and the Central Highlands regions had the lowest population density, with 132 persons per km2 and 107 persons per km2, respectively.
The sex ratio of the population was 99.1 males per 100 females. The sex ratio in urban areas was 96.5 males per 100 females, and in rural areas was 100.4 males per 100 females. The sex ratio had disparities by age groups; the higher the age group, the lower the sex ratio. The highest sex ratio was among the 0-4 year-old age group (110.3 males per 100 females) and the lowest sex ratio was among the 80 years and over age group (48.6 males per 100 females). The sex ratio was nearly equal in the 45-49 age group (100.2 males per 100 females) and began to decline to less than 100 in the 50-54 age group (95.9 males per 100 females).
The urban population was 33,122,548 persons, or 34.4% of the total population, while 63,086,436 persons resided in rural areas, or 65.6%. The average annual population growth rate in urban areas from 2009-2019 was 2.64% per year, more than two times the national average annual population growth rate and nearly six times the figure in rural areas over the same period.
The South East region had the highest proportion of the urban population in the country (62.8%), while the figure in the Northern Midlands and Mountain areas was the lowest (18.2%). The provinces with the highest rate of urban populations were Da Nang, Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City (87.2%, 79.9%, and 79.2%, respectively). Provinces with the lowest proportion of urban populations in the country included Ben Tre, Thai Binh and Bac Giang (9.8%, 10.6%, and 11.4%, respectively. The Red River Delta is the largest populous region in the country with 22.5 million persons, accounting for nearly 23.4% of the total population; the Central Highlands is the region with the smallest population of 5.8 million, representing 6.1%. In the period 2009 - 2019, the South East area reaches the highest average annual population growth rate across the country (2.37% per year); the Mekong River Delta has the lowest average population growth rate (0.05% per year).
The Kinh population was 82.1 million persons, accounting for 85.3% of the total population. Six of the 53 ethnic minority groups had a population that exceeded 1 million, including: Tay, Thai, Muong, Mong, Khmer and Nung. The Tay ethnic group was the largest with 1.85 million persons. Eleven ethnic minority groups had a population of less than 5,000 persons; the O Du ethnic minority group only had 428 persons. Ethnic minority groups primarily resided in the Northern Midlands and Mountain areas and the Central Highlands regions.
As of 1 April 2019, there were 16 religions practiced in Viet Nam. A total of 13.2 million persons identified as religious, or 13.7% of the total population. Catholicism was the most commonly practiced religion with 5.9 million persons, accounting for 44.6% of the total number of religious followers and 6.1% of the total population of the country. The second most common religion was Buddhism with 4.6 million persons, or 35.0% of religious followers and 4.8% of the national population. The remaining religions all had a relatively small proportion of followers.
Most children under 5 years old were registered at birth (98.8%). This exceeded the target birth registration rate of the national action program on civil status registration and statistics for 2017-2024, with a target that by 2020, 97% of children under five years of age would have birth certificates. However, fewer than 3% of children under five years old did not have birth registrations in regions commonly home to many ethnic minorities .
77.5% of the population aged 15 and over in the whole country had ever ever-married, and 69.2% were currently married population. The Singulate Mean Age at Marriage was 25.2 years old, an 0.7-year increase from 2009, and males tended to get married 4.1 years later than females (27.2 years old and 23.1 years old, respectively).
Across the nation, 9.1% females aged 20-24 married for the first time before they turned 18. The Northern Midlands and Mountain areas and Central Highlands regions had the highest proportion of females aged 20-24 married for the first time before they turned 18, with 21.5% and 18.1%, respectively.
The proportion of people aged 5 years and over with disabilities in Viet Nam was 3.7%. The North Central and Central Coastal areas region had the highest percentage of people with disabilities nationwide (4.5%); The Central Highlands and South East are the regions had the lowest percentage of people with disabilities (2.9% for both).
The total fertility rate (TFR) was 2.09 children per woman, slightly below replacement fertility, and indicating that Viet Nam has maintained stable fertility rates over the last decade. The TFR in urban areas was 1.83 children per woman, while this figure in rural areas was 2.26 children per woman. Women with university educations had the lowest TFR (1.85 children per woman), significantly lower than the rate of women who had never attended school (2.59 children per woman). Ho Chi Minh City had the lowest TFR in the country (1.39 children per woman), while Ha Tinh province had the highest (2.83 children per woman).
Adolescent childbearing (the rate of giving birth among those aged 10-17) persists in Viet Nam. Nationwide, adolescent women giving birth accounted for 3.3% of the total. The highest rate was in the Northern Midlands and Mountain areas (9.7%) and the Central Highlands (6.8%). The Red River Delta region had the lowest rate of adolescent women giving birth (11.1‰).
The sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Viet Nam remained high with 111.5 boys per 100 girls. The SRB in the Red River Delta was the highest (115.3 boys per 100 girls) while the lowest SRB was in the Mekong River Delta (106.9 boys per 100 girls). Viet Nam has made substantial progress in maternal and child health care efforts. The infant mortality rate (IMR) and children under five mortality rate sharply declined over the last two decades. The IMR in 2019 was 14 deaths per 1,000 live births , nearly halving from the IMR 20 years ago. The urban IMR was lower than the rural IMR (8.2 and 16.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively). The male IMR is 3.8 points higher than female IMR; the male IMR was 15.8 per 1,000 live births compared to 12.0 deaths per 1,000 live births among females.
Viet Nam's U5MR in 2019 is 21.0 under-5 deaths per 1,000 live births, decline more than half compared to 1999 (56.9 under-5 deaths per 1,000 live births). However, there is still a big gap between urban and rural areas and among socio-economic regions: U5MR in rural areas is twice as high as in urban areas (25.1 and 12.3 under-5 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively); The maternal mortality rate (MMR) in 2019 was 46 cases per 100,000 live births, a fall of 23 cases per 100,000 live births compared to 2009. These results suggest that Viet Nam is on track to achieve its goal of reducing its MMR ahead of the stated target in the National Action Plan to implement the 2030 Agenda (45 cases per 100,000 live births by 2030).
The average life expectancy among the Vietnamese population was 73.6 years old; 71.0 years old for males and 76.3 years old for females. Life expectancy in Viet Nam has continuously increased since 1989, rising from 65.2 years old in 1989 to 73.6 years old in 2019. Differences in life expectancies between males and females remained almost unchanged over the last two censuses, holding at 5.4 years.
The majority of deaths that occurred in the 12 months prior to the Census were due to disease (90.9% of deaths). In addition to disease, traffic accidents were the leading cause of death. The rate of deaths caused by traffic accidents was approximately four times higher than labor accidents (4.3% and 1.1%, respectively). The rate of death caused by traffic accidents among males was nearly three times higher than that of females (5.9% versus 1.8%).
Although the population has continually increased, migration has decreased in both quantity and proportion. Migrants tended to choose migration destinations within a familiar range. Among the 88.4 million people in Viet Nam aged 5 and older, the number of migrants was 6.4 million, or 7.3%. The inter-provincial migrants accounted for the largest proportion of 3.2%, higher than the rate of intra-district and inter-district migrants (2.7% and 1.4% respectively). The South East region was the most attractive destination for migrants, followed by the Red River Delta. There were 1.3 million in-migrants to the South East, accounting for two-thirds of the total migrants across the country. The majority of in-migrants to the Southeast were from the Mekong River Delta (710,000 persons, or 53.2%), while people from the Northern Midlands and Mountain areas accounted for the majority of in-migrants into the Red River Delta (209,300 persons, or 61.2%).
Twelve provinces had positive net migration rates, where there were more in-migrants than out-migrants. Binh Duong had the highest positive net migration rate (200.4‰) with more than 489,000 in-migrants, but only about 38,000 out-migrants in the previous five years. Among every five persons aged 5 years old and over in Binh Duong, there is one person from another province. Other provinces with high net migration rates were Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang with net migration rates of 85.3‰, 75.9‰, and 68.4‰, respectively. Looking for/starting a new job or moving with family/moving house is the main reason of migration. About 43.0% of migrants lived in rented or borrowed houses, nearly eight times higher the rate among non-migrants. Localities with many industrial parks that draw unskilled laborers had high proportions of migrants renting or borrowing houses, including: Bac Ninh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Can Tho. Binh Duong had the highest rate of migrants renting or borrowing houses in the country (74.5%). Other localities that had a relatively high proportion of migrants (40%-50%) renting or borrowing houses included: Thai Nguyen, Hung Yen, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City and Long An.
In the last 30 years, the proportion of the urban population increased by 14.3 percentage points from 20.1% in 1989 to 34.4% in 2019. However, the average urban population growth rate from 2009-2019 was only 2.64% per year, lower than the urban population growth rate from 1999-2009 (3.4% per year). Migration contributed to a 1.2-million person increase in the urban population, accounting for 3.5% of the urban population. Compared to 2009, the number of net migrants in urban areas decreased by nearly 400,000 persons, from 1.5 million persons to 1.2 million persons, equivalent to a third of the region’s net migrants. The change in administrative boundary decisions contributed to transforming 4.1 million rural residents into urban residents, equivalent to 12.3% of the urban population nationwide in 2019. Viet Nam did not achieve its goals on urbanization by 2015 and 2020 under the National Urban Development Program approved by the Prime Minister in terms of increasing the proportion of the urban population.
For the last 10 years, general education notably improved in terms of increases in the gross school enrollment rate and net enrollment rate. The most significant improvements were seen at the upper secondary school level. The gross primary school enrollment rate was 101.0%; lower secondary school was 92.8% and upper secondary school was 72.3%. The net enrollment rates of these education levels were 98.0%, 89.2%, and 68.3%. The gross enrollment rate and the net enrollment rate among males were both lower than those among females. Viet Nam currently has 8.3% of its general school-age children out of school, a 21.6 percentage point decrease compared to 1999 and a fall of 8.1% percentage points since 2009 (in 1999: 20.9%; in 2009: 16.4%). The proportion of children out of school in rural areas was nearly two times higher than that in urban areas (9.5% versus 5.7%), and the rate of females out of school was lower than that of males (7.5% over 9.2%). The higher the level of education, the greater the out of school rate: at the primary school level, about 1 in 100 primary school-aged children did not go to school; the figure at the lower secondary school level was nearly 7 children, and at the upper secondary school level it was 26 children.
More than one-third of the population aged 15 years and over graduated from upper secondary school or higher (36.5%), a nearly two-fold increase compared to 2009 (20.8%). The proportion of the population aged 15 years and over with upper secondary school or higher education in urban areas was two times higher that in rural areas (54.0% and 27.0%, respectively).
Across the country, 80.8% of the population aged 15 and over did not have technical qualifications. The proportion of the population with technical qualifications grew by 5.9 percentage points since 2009.
Nearly 88% of the Viet Nam population aged 25-59 participated in the labor force, with the greatest proportion of the labor force in the 25-29 age group (14.3%), followed by the 30-34 age group (14.2%). The labor force participation rate of both young age groups (aged 15-24 years) and the older age group (aged 60 years and older) were low (less than 10%).
The labor force who graduated upper secondary school accounted for 39.1%, increasing 13.5 percentage points compared to 2009. The trained labor force with degrees and certificates at or beyond primary levels constituted 23.1%. This rate in urban areas was 2.5 times higher that in rural areas, with corresponding rates of 39.3% and 15.6%). The Red River Delta and South East regions had the highest proportions of trained workers with degrees and certificates (31.8% and 27.5%, respectively). The lowest proportion of trained employees was found in the Mekong River Delta (13.6%).
The unemployment rate among the population aged 15 and older remained low at 2.05%. The unemployment rate within rural areas was nearly half that urban areas (1.64% and 2.93%, respectively). Most unemployed persons were between 15 and 54 years old (accounting for 91.7% of the unemployed). Unemployed youth (aged 15-24) accounted for nearly half of the total unemployed population nationwide (44.4%).
From 2009-2019, the proportion of employment by economic sector shifted positively toward reducing the proportion of labor in the “Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery” sector and increasing employment in the “Industry,” “Construction” and “Services” sectors. The proportion of employed labor in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery sector continually decreased from 53.9% in 2009 to 46.3% in 2014, and 35.3% in 2019. In 2019, for the first time, the number of employees working in the service sector was higher than the number working in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector. With the current rate of labor restructuring, it will be possible to reach target the objective of Resolution No. 23/NQ-TW dated 22 March 2018 of the Politburo on the orientation to formulate national industrial development policies to 2030, with a vision to 2045: "By 2030, the proportion of labor working in the industry and service sector will reach over 70%".
Elementary labors still constituted the highest rate of the labor force in the economy at 33.2%. However, the proportion of elementary labor sharply decreased in the last decade (down 7.1 percentage points). Three groups of occupations, including "Service Workers and Market Sales Workers", "Craftsmen and other Relevant Workers" and "Plant, Machine operator and Assemblers" also drew large numbers of workers with corresponding rates of 18.3%, 14.5%, and 13.2% of the total number of employed workers.
As of time point 0:00 a.m. on 1 April 2019, almost all households had dwellings to live and resided in permanent or semi-permanent houses. There were only 1,244 households without dwellings to live in (accounting for 0.47 in 10,000 households), equivalent to 4.108 persons. The majority of households without dwellings were those living in boats, floating houses, etc., which did not meet the criteria for the structure of a house or apartment (three parts: wall, roof and floor). In addition, information on 310 vagrants and homeless persons in 10 provinces was collected in this Census . Thus, there were 4,418 persons without houses to live across the country. The number of households without dwellings decreased 10-fold in the last decade, from 4.7 in 10,000 in 2009 to 0.47 in 10,000 in 2019. Households living in temporary or simple houses only accounted for a small share (6.9%), an 8.2 percentage point decrease compared to 2009. This percentage in rural areas was nearly 8 percentage points higher than in urban areas (9.7% and 1.8%, respectively).
The housing area per capita in 2019 was 23.2m2 per person, a 6.5m2 increase per person compared to 2009. The housing area per capita in apartments was lower than that of private homes (20.1m2 per person and 23.3 m2 per person, respectively). About one-third of households (34.4%) live in houses or apartments with housing areas per capita of 30m2 per person or more. Around 7% of households (equivalent to about 7.7 million people) continued to live in stuffy houses with housing areas per capita below 8m2 per person. The highest proportion of households living in this type of houses or apartments was in the South East (16.3%), and the lowest was in the North Central and Central Coastal areas (3.8%).
The percentage of households living in rented or borrowed houses or apartments was 11.7%, a 4.6 percentage point increasing compared to 2009 (7.1%). In densely population regions where many industrial zones are concentrated, the percentage of households living in rented or borrowed houses or apartments was higher than in other provinces, including Binh Duong (56.5%), Ho Chi Minh City (32.8%), Bac Ninh (27.0%), and Ha Noi (15.8%). This rate in urban areas was 3.5 times higher than in rural areas.
The majority of households lived in houses or apartments used since 2000 (accounting for 76.8% and equivalent to 20.6 million households). Of those used since 2000, 37.1% lived in houses or apartments built within the last 10 years (about 10 million households), 1.2 million fewer households than in 2009. However, 195,000 households (or 0.7% of households with dwellings) continued to live in simple houses that were built and put into use between 22 and 44 years ago and more than 19,000 households (or 0.07% of households with dwellings) lived in simple houses that were built and put into use for the first time 45 or more years ago. Thus, although the broad accommodation context among households improved in recent years, some households continue to live in poor-quality houses with ages that exceed defined safety levels.
Household accommodation and living conditions also significantly improved. Nearly all (99.4%) households used national grid electricity for lighting, a 3.3 percentage point increase compared to 2009.
The percentage of households using hygienic water sources was 97.4%, and 52.2% households used tap water. The rate of hygienic water use was 99.6% of households in urban areas and 96.3% of households in rural areas.
The percentage of households using hygienic toilets (septic tanks and semi-septic tanks) was 88.9%, an increase of nearly 35 percentage points compared to 2009.
Household living facilities improved with 91.9% of households owning televisions; 91.7% of households owning telephones (landline, cellphone) or tablets; and 30.7% of households owning computers (desktops, laptops).
In addition to the above audiovisual appliances, other basic equipment was also used by most households with a significant increase in uptake compared to 2019. The highest increase was in the rate of households using a refrigerator with 48.9% (2009: 31.6%, 2019: 80.5%); followed by the percentage of households using washing machines, an increase of 37.3% (2009: 14.9%, 2019: 52.2%) and percentage of households using air-conditioners, which increased by 25.5% (2009: 5.9%, 2019: 31.4%).
The majority of households used personal motor vehicles (motorbikes, motorcycles, electric bicycles, electric scooters and cars) for household purposes (88%). The percentage of households using motor private vehicles in urban areas was higher than in rural areas (91.8% and 85.9%, respectively). The provinces with the highest rates of personal motor vehicle use were Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Da Nang and Tay Ninh (over 94% in each province).
In short, over the last 10 years, despite a number of difficulties and significant challenges, Viet Nam made significant achievements across health care, education, employment and living conditions of the people, through direction from the Party, management from the State, and from the tireless efforts of the whole political system, the people, and the military force. The population size increased at slower rate than that in the previous 10 years. The education level among the population improved, and more children are enrolled at school. The rate of children out of school sharply decreased, and the rate of the population with technical qualifications grew. Population health, especially maternal and child health, advanced. The rate of people with disabilities declined, life expectancy grew remarkably, and the IMR and MMT fell sharply. Job creation and competitive capacity improvement for employees received significant attention. Economic restructuring took place in Viet Nam towards increasing the proportion of labor in the industry, construction and service sectors and reducing the proportion of labor in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector. Housing and living conditions improved, especially in urban areas. Almost all households have dwellings to live and mainly live in permanent and semi-permanent houses. The rate of households without dwellings reduced dramatically, while the rate of households using national grid electricity and hygienic water sources rose sharply. The rate of households owning modern living facilities also leapt up.
Such achievements can serve as motivation to realize aspirations for a prosperous and happy country, Viet Nam./