An Overview of Population Growth in Vietnam and New Zealand

TOPIC: Compare and contrast population growth rates in Vietnam and New Zealand since 2000s and give reasons for the similarities or differences. What effects have these changes had on the economies and societies of the two countries ? Essay: Population growth rate is the increase in a country’s population during a period of time, usually one year, expressed as a percentage of the population at the start of that period. Each country in the world has different rates based on the number of births, deaths during the period and the number of immigrants, emigrants.

In this essay, I would make some comparison and contrast of population growth rates between Vietnam and New Zealand since 2000s as well as give reasons for rise or decline in population. Besides that, population growth has effects on the economy and society of two countries will be discussed. There are differences in the population growth in Vietnam and New Zealand. Overall, the rates look dissimilar in two countries. It is evident from both graphs about the population growth rate in New Zealand and Vietnam of CIA World Factbook, New Zealand is the country with low population growth rate while Vietnam has high population growth rate.

As can be seen from the graph of New Zealand (CIA World Factbook) , the rate fluctuated mildly. The highest rate in 2000 reached 1. 17% whereas the lowest one in 2011 accounted for 0. 88%. Between 2000 and 2007 the population growth rate dropped steadily from 1. 17% to 0. 95% then rose slightly to 0. 97% in 2008. From 2008 to 2011, it declined gradually to 0. 88%. It is noticeable from the graph of Vietnam (CIA World Factbook), the population growth rate fluctuated widely. The highest rate in 2000 made up 1. 49 but the lowest one stood at 0. 98% in 2009.

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In stages 2003-2004 and 2009-2010, while the number of population growth increased in Vietnam, it decreased in New Zealand. From 2007 to 2008, the population growth rate went up in New Zealand whereas went down in Vietnam. Second, the reason for the rise or the decline in population in New Zealand is completely different from that in Vietnam. While the main reasons in New Zealand are emigration and low birth rate, in Vietnam those are high population structure and low awareness of women living in rural areas. The main reason to explain the decrease in population in New Zealand is emigration.

According to the ABS and Statistics New Zealand, it is estimated about 14% New Zealanders emigrate to other countries each year. Of these, over three-fourths emigrate to Australia. Other communities of New Zealanders abroad are concentrated in other English-speaking countries, specifically the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, with smaller numbers located elsewhere. The low birth rates also affect the decrease in population in New Zealand. As professor Natalie Jackson from Waikato University’s National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis mentioned New Zealanders’ birth rates have declined over the past several decades.

People are living longer because of increased access to immunization, primary health care and disease eradication programs. Many parents are realizing that as health conditions improve, more of their children are likely to survive, so they are choosing to have fewer babies. In addition, with greater access to education and jobs, more women in New Zealand are starting their families later and are having fewer, healthier children (Study to find solutions to population decline, www. waikato. ac. nz). It is said that Vietnam is the third most densely populated country in Southeast Asia behind Singapore and Philippines.

The main argument to explain the rise in population in Vietnam is high population structure. According to UN’s article in Vietnam, the population growth rate in Vietnam went down recently because the country has experienced a decrease in the total fertility rate. Even when the total fertility drops below replacement level, the absolute number of people will continue to increase due to population momentum . The continued population growth is the legacy of earlier years of high fertility rates and cannot be avoided.

So each year population in Vietnam increased reaching an average of one million people (Vietnam’s population keeps growing despite decrease in total fertility rate, http://www. un. org. vn). Another convincing reason is low awareness of women living rural areas. There were 60,410,101 people (70. 4% total population of the country) living in rural areas. Of these, three-fourth women especially in high land central provinces married before the age of 20, with a woman on an average bearing four or more than four children.

However, later the legal marriage age for women was set at 22 but this law met serious opposition in those areas. As the Vietnamese believed in “falling in love early and getting married early” (Vietnam Population, http://www. asiarooms. com). Changes in population have both positive and negative impacts on the society and economy. In Vietnam, increased population growth generally represents problems for country- it means increased need for food, infrastructure, services, jobs…

In addition, the population growth also provides a huge amount of labor force, the potential for rapid economic development is certainly there (Population Growth Rates, www. geography. about. com). In contrast, New Zealand’s government is facing a considerable loss of gray matter because of emigration. Nearly one quarter of New Zealand’s highly-skilled workers live overseas, mostly in Australia and Britain, more than any other developed nation. That will cause a serious damage on its economy (Demographics of New Zealand, http://en. wikipedia. org).

In conclusion, population growth rate varies from country to country. Even though Vietnam and New Zealand seem similar in many features of population growth rates since 2000s, the causes of declining or increasing population and the effects on economy and society of two countries are totally different. Besides that, Vietnam’s government should have strict population policies, education programs for women to control population growth and New Zealand’s is expected to have more investments to prevent skillful workers from emigrating as well as improve the birth rates.

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