With 96.46 million people residing in the country and an annual population growth rate of 1%, Vietnam has established its place amongst the most densely populated nations of Southeast Asia. The slow growth in population is balanced by the high rate of literacy prevailing in the country. Despite being a developing nation, Vietnam recorded a literacy rate of 95%in 2018, representing a significant increase from 87.6% in 1989. Further, the country has made tremendous advancements towards reducing poverty, evidenced by the decline in the poverty ratio. As showcased in the figure below, the country’s poverty ratio fell from 20.7% to 6.7% in the last decade, thus, positioning Vietnam ahead of Indonesia and Thailand in this social metric.
Moreover, by virtue of its improved healthcare system and low population growth, Vietnam has amassed a labour force of 57.3 million people, the second largest in Southeast Asia. However, it is important to note that the increases in labour force participation and productivity have not been matched with a parallel increase in skill levels, thus, leaving sufficient room for improvement and consequent economic growth.
Quality of Infrastructure Ranking -Since the 2008 crash, Vietnam has increased its quality of infrastructure ranking from 123 to 66. This is representative of Vietnam’s upward trajectory on the global development ladder and bodes well for the country in its search for foreign investment.
Age – Vietnam is home to a fairly young population where the majority of people are under the age of 40. This exempts the country from the problem of an ageing population, and thus, indicates that the potential for growth can be sustained well into the future. Given that many of its regional peers are grappling with the prospect of an ageing problem, Vietnam can leverage its young workforce to attract the attention of foreign investors.
Religious and ethnic diversity – Vietnam recognises 54 ethnic groups and is open to all communities. As depicted in the chart below, the Vietnamese form the nation’s largest ethnic group, constituting 85.7% of the country’s population as of 2009. Further, the diversity in Vietnam’s community stems from the presence of other regional ethnicities, making it a melting pot of Asian cultures.
With respect to religion in Vietnam, the state has almost no religious biases or conflicts. Though officially Vietnam is an atheist state, the people are free to practice their own religion. Besides atheism, the main religions in Vietnam are Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity.
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