Birth rate in Hanoi drops, but still unstable

The birth rate in Hanoi city in the first quarter dropped as compared to the same period last year, but gender inequality remains high with 114.7 boys per 100 girls.

The city is implementing solutions to achieve the target of 0.7% in the birth rate, and 0.3% for the third child by the end of this year. 

In 2013 and 2014, the city exceeded its target in family planning. 

According to the Hanoi Health Department, to achieve this result the city has striven for better policies on gender equality, and intensified inspections to stop gender selections in an effort to reduce the currently high gender ratio. 

However, besides these achievements, the work on population and family planning in Hanoi is still limited in terms of the coordination between departments, unions and social organisations in implementing awareness activities, with counselling for family planning not really regular. 

Hanoi also has a large population, extensive geography and unequal educational levels, coupled with the desire of people to have many children and especially a son, leading to the increase in the birth rate. 

According to the Health Department, the ratio for the third child is down but not stable, and this is also a problem when the city is looking to achieve the population target. 

For the next period, Hanoi has set a target of improving population quality, maintaining a reasonably low birth rate and controlling the gender ratio at birth. 

The city will invest in expanding pre-natal and post-natal screening services in order to detect congenital malformations early, as well as ensure productive health-care services. Large-scale education campaigns will continue to be held to raise public awareness on family planning and gender equality.