As concerns about the low birth rate in Ho Chi Minh City rise, there have been suggestions that administrators in the southern metropolis should make some moves on Vietnam’s decades-long population policy to encourage couples to have more children.
The suggestions were put forward at a conference held by the Population and Family Planning Department of Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.
Speakers at the meeting showed a negative view toward the two-child policy in effect when they said that couples should be free to decide how many children they want.
Vietnam has encouraged families to have no more than two children since the 1960s, with those working in the public sector facing monetary fines for exceeding the limit.
The policy has dramatically brought down the country’s birth rate to three children per woman in the 1980s and two children per woman from 2005 until now.
In the same downward direction, Ho Chi Minh City’s total fertility rate (TFR) dropped from 1.76 children in 2000 to 1.33 children in 2018, which was significantly lower than Vietnam’s replacement-level fertility of 2.10 children.
TFR is defined as the average number of children that are born to a woman over her lifetime. Replacement-level fertility is the TFR at which women give birth to enough babies to maintain population levels.
Speaking at Tuesday’s event, Pham Thi My Le, deputy director of the municipal Population and Family Planning Department, blamed life and work pressures, late marriage, late childbirth, and an overall aversion to giving birth for the city’s falling birth rate.