20% of urban citizens are migrants
There has been a strong wave of migration within Vietnam over the last three decades, a recent workshop held by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the General Statistics Office (GSO) heard.
Some 13.6 per cent of the population have become migrants over the last five years, according to the National Internal Migration Survey 2015. For those aged from 19 to 59 the rate stands at 17.3 per cent. Among Vietnam’s urban population, 19.7 per cent are migrants, while only 13.4 per cent of the rural population are migrants.
The southeastern region, which is home to many industrial parks, has the highest number of migrant workers, at 87.8 per cent, followed by the Red River Delta with 81 per cent.
Among total emigrants aged between 15 and 59, women made up 52.4 per cent, consolidating the outcome of “female migration” found in previous surveys. The proportion of skilled migrants was found to be higher than that of skilled non-migrants, at 31.7 per cent compared to 24.5 per cent. Many youngsters also move to urban areas to pursue higher education.
The GSO said that up to 42.6 per cent of migrants reported that accommodation was the most difficult issue they face. They also receive little support from local authorities and organizations.
According to Professor Luu Bich Ngoc from the Institute of Population and Social Issues, environmental change is one factor behind increased migration. Hot weather, salinity intrusion in the Mekong Delta, and environmental impacts in the north have created difficulties for farming and aquaculture, which drive people to migrate elsewhere to find work.
“The negative side of migration is the lack of workforce in the migration area, with older people having to work on farms and many children of immigrants not living with their parents,” Ms. Ngoc said.
It is necessary to have priority policies for migrants, to give them equal rights and allow for sustainable migration.
UNFPA Chief Representative Astrid Bant said the survey provided evidence on the positive impacts as well as the challenges in the field, which will help Vietnam define the necessary changes to policy to support poor and vulnerable emigrants.
Director of the GSO Nguyen Bich Lam said the survey aims to collect information on internal migration to build proper socioeconomic development policies for emigrants.
The GSO and the UNFPA called on local governments, ministries, research institutes, businesses, and universities to make more investment into analyses of the survey’s data to design support policies for migrants.
The 2015 National Internal Migration Survey, the second of its kind, was conducted in 20 centrally-run cities and provinces representing six socioeconomic regions and the two major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The first was carried out in 2004.