The 2009 Population and Housing Census
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MEDIA RELEASE: The 2009 Population and Housing Census (15:33 22/07/2010)



              MEDIA RELEASE


The 2009 Population and Housing Census:

Dissemination of completed census results


Vietnam’s population reaches 85.847 million people

The average living area per capita is 16.7m2/person


HANOI, 21 July 2010 - Today in Hanoi, the Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee organizes the Conference on dissemination of the completed census results and review of the 2009 Population and Housing Census. The conference is chaired by H. E. Mr. Nguyen Sinh Hung, Standing Deputy Prime Minister of the Government, Chairman of the Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee.

I. Results: As final results of the 2009 Population and Housing Census shown that as of 0.00 hour 1 April 2009 the total population of Vietnam was 85,846,997 people; including 42,413,143 males (account for 49.4%) and 43,433,854 females (account for 50.6%).

In the last ten years there has been a total increase of 9.523 million people; an annual average increase of 952,000 people. The average annual population growth rate between two the 1999 and 2009 Population and Housing Censuses was 1.2% per year, while in the previous 10 years there was a total increase of 1,200,000 people (1.7% per year). This confirms the fact that Vietnam’s fertility rate has been continuously declining over the last 10 years, as reported by statistics data from Annual Population Change and Family Planning Surveys implemented by the General Statistics Office.

A total of 25,436,896 people (29.6%) live in urban areas and 60,410,101 people (70.4%) live in rural areas. Between 1999 and 2009, the average annual growth rate of the urban population was 3.4% per year, while that of the rural population was only 0.4% per year. The rapid growth of the urban population is mainly attributed to migration and urbanization.

Three cities and provinces with a population of more than three million people are Ho Chi Minh City (7.163 million people), Ha Noi City (6.452 million people) and Thanh Hoa province (3.401 million people). There are 5 provinces with a population under 500,000 people. Those are Bac Kan, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Kon Tum and Dak Nong.

The 2009 Census also collected fully information about the brotherhood 54 ethnic groups residing in the territory of Vietnam. The Kinh ethnic group equals 73.594 million people (account for 85.7%) while 12.253 million people (14.3%) belong to other ethnic groups. The population growth rate of ethnic minorities is higher than the country’s average population growth rate (1.6% versus 1.2%).

Information on religion was also included in the 2009 Census. The number of religious people in 2009 increased by 932,000 people as compared with the 1999 Census. A total of 15.672 million people are religious followers. This reflects the religious - faiths freedom policy of the Vietnam Communist Party and State.

Literacy rate for the population aged 15 years and over increased by 3.7 percentage points (from 90.3% in 1999 to 94.0% in 2009). The female literacy rate increased 4.9 percentage points while the male literacy rate increased 2.2 percentage points, significantly narrowing the literacy rate gap between men and women. Ha Noi, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City have the highest literacy rate (97.9%) while Lai Chau has the lowest (59.4%). This data shows the literacy rate was not only increased quite rapidly but also express successes of Vietnam’s gender equality work in the education sector. 

According to the 2009 Census results, there are only nearly four million people who have never attended school (5.0% of the total population aged 5 years and over) and as compared with the 1999 Census this number has decreased 5 percentage points (6.9 million people, account for 10.0% of population aged 5 and over). This shows the significant progress of the Vietnam’s education sector in minimizing the number of people who never go to school.

The census completed results also show significant improvements in living conditions of Vietnam population. Among people with their own house, 46.3% of these are permanent houses, 37.9% are semi-permanent houses, 8% are less-permanent houses, and 7.8% are simple permanent houses. The average living area per capita of the entire country is 16.7m2/person, of which that figure of the urban area is nearly half as much again as that of rural, 19.2m2/person and 15.7m2/person, respectively. After 10 years, the proportion of households having a large living area (60m2 and over) of the entire country has more doubled, from 24.2% to 51.5%. This is a success in effort of implementation of the housing development strategy in order to increase the average living area per capita. However, after 10 years the proportion of households having dwelling with the living area under 15 m2 did not almost declined (1999: 2.2% and 2009: 2.4%).


II. Review of the Census: In the review of the census, the Standing Deputy Prime Minister of the Government, Chairman of the Central Census Steering Committee concluded as follows:

1.       The 2009 Census has been successful because firstly we took advantage of support of the whole political system from the Central to locality, efforts of the Census Steering Committees at all levels, branches, enthusiastic assistance of armed force and people throughout the country as well as efficient support from international organizations. Although preparatory time for deploying and implementation was short and limited investment source but we conducted cautiously step by step, strengthening checking and monitoring and immediately drawing experiences after each of the tasks. Specially, this time the publicity had been quite well prepared, launched deeply and widely and received enthusiastic support and participation of the whole population. Therefore, the field-work enumeration was advantageous and quality of information was fairly good and requirement was met

2.       The Prime Minister also highly appreciated the efforts in brave application of the new technology both in the census design and data processing, improvement and additional development of means that serve as effective training and enumeration.

3.       Standing Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee expressed his high appreciation of the United Nations Population Fund for the Census. At the same time, Standing Deputy Prime Minister also calls on all government agencies, localities, international donors, civil society organizations, research institutes and the media to make full use of the census results for the Vietnam’s development planning.


For further information, please contact:

The Department of Population and Labour Statistics, the General Statistics Office,

the Ministry of Planning and Investment, 6B Hoang Dieu, Hanoi.
Tel: (84-4) 38 230 100, 38 463 462

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