In addition, HelpAge publishes Global AgeWatch Index that ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring. You can find data set of 96 countries, including country report card for Vietnam.
In Vietnam, the number of older people is increasing while the birthrate has dropped, accelerating the rate of population ageing.
The number of older people is growing: Vietnam is one of the fastest ageing countries in Asia. By 2050, the number of people 60 years and over will triple from 8.9 percent to over 30 percent or 32 million people. The number of people over 80 will also triple to over 6 per cent of the population.
Older people need care and support: According to the national surveillance on the elderly in Vietnam (VNAS) conducted in 2011, over half of the elderly (56%) self-assessed their health conditions as weak (49.4%) and very weak (6.7%).[iii] In addition to physical care, older people require emotional support. More than 39.2% of the elderly doesn’t have health insurance card.
Older people struggle with poverty: In 2013, the Human Development Index ranked Vietnam 121 among 187 countries. In 2014, approximately 29% of older people (equivalent to 2.76 million people) receive pension and social insurance support. Another 1,505,699 older people (16% of the older people) receive social allowances, of whom 1,410,064 are aged 80 and above, and 95,635 are living alone and destitute. The proportion of elderly people living in poor households has increased, from 17.2% to 22.3% of older people still live in 2014.
Demographic characteristics: Almost all older persons in Vietnam have married but around 40% of older persons are widowed.[vi] Gender imbalance is more pronounced in older age groups. For example for every man over 80, there are 2.39 women. The majority of older people (72.5%) live in rural and mountainous areas.
Below are the key statistics on Vietnam’s population of older people:
|Older people (total)||9,462,236||32,037,000|
|Older people as percentage of total population||10.45%||30.8%|
|Life expectancy (males)||70.6|
|Life expectancy (females)||76|
|Old age dependency ratio (ratio of people 60+ to those of working age)||9.3||27|
|Older people in poverty|
|Rural older people||6,431,422|
|Urban older people||3,030,814|
|Older people living alone (60+) as a percentage|
|Older women as a percentage of the population aged 60+||58.6%||56.3%|
Vietnam is a signatory to the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA).
National Policy for the Elderly
Population ageing has been included as one of the prioritised issues in the new national strategy on population and reproductive health for 2011-2020.[xix] The Vietnamese Government has issued many national policies for the elderly including:
Health and care
Older people’s associations
There are 11,122 older people associations (OPA) at all communities with about 99,578 branches (at village level) in Vietnam. All OPAs belong to the Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE) which is a mass organization with more than 8.3 million members over the country. VAE conducts many activities for care and promotion of older people in Vietnam (longevity ceremony, rights protection, establishing clubs, advocacy, etc.) and contributes much to community and society. At present, Vietnam has nearly 60,000 sport, exercise, art, professional and entertainment clubs used by 2,597,630 older people. One special model of OPAs is the multifunctional Inter-generational Self-Help Clubs (ISHC). This model, developed by HelpAge International, includes elements of microcredit, livelihoods, health promotion, rights and entitlements and more. At present there are more than 830 ISHCs in 12 provinces with an average of 55 members per club. The ISHC model has been recognized by the government and donor agencies as a vibrant mechanism for community-led development.
In 2012, the National Action Plan on Aging period 2012-2020 was approved with specific indicator of replicating ISHCs in over country.
At the moment VAE and MOLISA are developing national proposal “Caring and Promoting the role of older people”, this proposal is going to help replicate ISHCs whole country according to National Action Plan of Aging period 2012-2020.
A non-contributory social pension offered to all older than 80 years of age and to those age 60-79 who are identified as poor. 1.4 million over 80 receive the pension, along with about 100,000 60-79 year olds. An additional 1.8 million pensioners receive the formal pension described above as part of social insurance. This leaves a gap of 5 million older people who do not receive any form of pension. The benefit level for the non-contributory social pension is about 9 USD a month, though some groups receive more. Those aged 60-79 who have a severe disability receive 13.5 USD a month as do those aged 80 and above who are poor, live alone and without family support. Those over 80 who have a severe disability as well, receive 18 USD a month. The trend in Vietnam is towards progressively lowering criteria for eligibility for social pensions and increasing extended benefits to more groups.
The following organisations are part of the HelpAge network in Vietnam:
The following are recent publications and resources related to Vietnam’s older population.
More information can be found on the following websites: