Ethnic Fertility Differentials in Vietnam
Sajeda Amin, Population Council
Vietnam’s total fertility dropped from 3.8 in 1989 to 2.1 in 2005. The remarkable decline was reported to have a parallel in rising contraceptive use and abortion. Despite the overall fertility decline, current rates vary across the country’s 54 ethnic groups. The majority of Vietnamese and Chinese, who together account for 85 % of Vietnam’s total population, have total fertility rates below the replacement level. Meanwhile, minority groups in Northern Uplands such as Dao and Hmong, who are predominantly poor, have the total fertility of 3.6 and 7.1 respectively. This study examines the ethnic fertility differentials using a new approach in ethnic classification. Drawing on the 1999 Census and 2001 Vietnam National Health Survey, we examine proximate determinants of fertility across ethnic groups using the model proposed by Bongaarts (1978). We are particularly interested in addressing the roles of family planning and abortion in describing different fertility levels in a multi-ethnic setting like Vietnam.