Recent Change in the Sex Ratio at Birth in Viet Nam

A Review of Evidence

No. of pages: 56

Publication date: 2009

Author: UNFPA

Publisher: UNFPA

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This report provides a comprehensive picture and analysis of the increasingly imbalanced sex ratios at birth occurring in Viet Nam. In 2000 the country's sex ratio at birth, an important demographic indicator, was at normal levels and was estimated to be fairly close to normal (105 boys to 100 girls). That ratio increased to 112.1 in 2008. The current growth of 1 point per year since 2006 means that the ratio might cross the 115 mark within three years, which would significantly affect the country’s demographic and sex structure.

One of the main factors behind this rise relates to the steadily increasing access to affordable sex-determination and sex-selection technology that allows couples to pursue their desire for one or more sons.The report notes that if the sex ratio imbalance continues to increase after 2010, there will be a great impact on men who are born after 2005 and would be entering their marriageable age from 2030 onwards, because they would find themselves in much higher numbers than women their age. By 2035, the surplus adult men would amount to 10 per cent or more of the female population, if the sex ratio does not return to its normal level of 105 male births per 100 female births, in the next two decades.

Dr. Christophe Z. Guilmoto, a demographer with substantive experience in the field analysed the data aprepared this report. The report also offers a number of concrete conclusions and valuable recommendations for Viet Nam in the years ahead.