Ethnic fertility differentials in Vietnam
Presentation at Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Detroit, 30 April
Publication date: 2009
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 Vietnamese and Chinese, who together account for 85 percent of Vietnam's total population, have total fertility rates below the replacement level. Meanwhile, minority groups in the Northern Uplands such as Dao and Hmong, who are predominantly poor, have a 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 multiethnic setting like Vietnam.