Thứ Ba, 12 Tháng Hai 201300:00(Xem: 15964)

According to a recent article on the Immigration Daily website, there is a population shrinkage that exists in developed countries and is spreading across the globe. The world population is expected to peak at around 9 to 10 billion and start falling. This will severely impact societies and global immigration.

2.1 live births per woman are required to maintain population balance. Fertility in much of Europe has fallen below the 2.1 live births number. In Germany it is at 1.36. At this rate, the population of Western Europe will shrink from 460 million to just 350 million by the end of this century. Russia and China will be even worse, losing half their populations. Countries with traditionally high fertility have been dropping in fertility even more quickly: From 1960 to 2009, Mexico’s fertility fell from 7.3 to 2.4 and India’s fell from 6.0 to 2.5. Both of these countries may soon fall below the minimum 2.1 number. Historically, when the fertility rate of a country falls below the replacement level, the migration out of that country reduces to a trickle. In Vietnam, the rate has already fallen below the 2.1 live births minimum. It is now 1.89 live births per woman.

The prediction is that a reduction in total population will be accompanied by a dramatic change in the composition of the population. There will be a massive increase in the elderly population, and a massive reduction of working age population. Within a decade, the demand for working age people across the world will rise greatly. Countries will have to compete with each other to attract immigrants from a shrinking pool of countries which will still have outflows of population. 

Some people predict that one day in future, some prosperous countries in Europe, North America, and even Australia (now with a population of less than 25 million) may choose to offer some kind of financial incentive to any young person agreeing to accept their citizenship.

There is also a list of fertility rates for 223 countries in the world. Number One on the list is the country of Niger in West Africa, with 7.52 live births per women. Of course this high birth rate is offset by high infant mortality and lower life expectancy. The other countries with high live birth rates are mostly in western and southern Africa and the Middle East.

Vietnam’s 1.89 births per woman put the country at number 140 out of 223 countries. Laos is number 57 out of 223 countries, with 3.06 live births per woman and Cambodia is number 71 with 2.78 live births. The lowest live birth rate of all the 223 countries on the list belongs to Singapore, at 0.78 live births per woman. The USA birth rate is 2.06, making it number 123 out of 223 countries. The Mainland China birth rate is 1.55, lower than Vietnam, placing them at 183 out of 223 countries.

Vietnam’s population is over 90 million people, higher than any other Southeast Asian nation except Indonesia. But what will the future bring if the birth rate in Vietnam continues at 1.89 or less, and the minimum needed to sustain population balance is 2.1 ? Right now, 25% of Vietnam’s population is under 15 years of age and 69% of the people are between 15 and 64 years old. There will be an increasing labor pool as the younger population gets older, but there will also be an increase in the elderly population, which will require more health care and other resources. The Median age in Vietnam is 28 years and the life expectancy is 70 for men and 75 for women.

The Literacy rate in Vietnam is 94%, which is very favorable and most of the population completes at least 10 years of school.

One more interesting statistic: According to a study in the year 2000, there are fewer overweight people in Vietnam than in almost every other country. In Vietnam, the adult prevalence rate for Obesity is 0.5%. That’s less than 1% of the population, compared with the US, where 34% of the population is considered Obese. Of course things are changing in Vietnam and by now the Obesity rate is probably somewhat higher than it was in 2000.

Q.1. If the predictions we see on the internet are correct, when will the worldwide shortage in the work force become a critical matter?
A.1. Assuming that the predictions are correct, it will be at least one or two generations before the shortage of workers begins to effect the economies of the world.

Q.2. If other nations try to recruit workers from abroad, will that provide opportunities for overseas work for Vietnamese citizens?
A.2. One of the reasons that there are so many Filipinos working in other countries is that most of them speak English. English language ability will be a critical factor in recruiting workers from Vietnam. Right now, most Vietnamese workers are not able to function well in situations that require English.

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