HCM City deals with low fertility rate hinh anh 1HCM City authorities have taken efforts to encourage every couple to have two children. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - HCM City’s birth rate has remained low at 1.5 per woman in 2018.

The information was released at a December 13 meeting by Vo Thanh Dong, deputy head of the Department of Population and Family Planning under Ministry of Health on the threshold of Vietnam’s Population Day, December 26.

Authorities in the country’s biggest economic hub have encouraged every married couple to have two children.

According to Tran Van Tri, head of HCM City Department of Population and Family Planning, after years working to balance the sex ratio at birth, in 2018, it is estimated to have hit 105.3 boys born for every 100 girls in the city.  

Over the past decade, the department has also implemented projects to improve population quality, reduce sex imbalance at birth and enhance population education.

In 2018, 82.7 percent of pregnant women had prenatal screenings, Tri said.

The low fertility in HCM City and in the south in general is alarming as this region is more developed and many residents can afford the expenses of child-bearing.

According to experts, high living costs, high demands for education and other child-rearing aspects explain the low fertility rate.

This year, Vietnam’s Population Day has a theme of ‘Adolescent reproductive healthcare for the nation’s future,’ aiming to promote safe sex and prenatal care.

With nearly 97 million people, Vietnam is the world’s 14th most populous country. More than 64 million are at working ages, accounting for 68 percent of the total.

The country started entering the aging phase in 2011 and is among the most rapidly aging countries in the world.

The General Statistics Office predicts that in 2038, the country will have 21 million people over 60 years old, a fifth of the total population.

However, at present, 800 abortions happen every day in Vietnam, putting the country at risk of poor productivity and fertility quality.-VNA