In a report from KPMG on Investing Vietnam, there’s a fascinating chart detailing the “Population Age Pyramid” as seen below. It gives us a quick snapshot of Vietnam’s aging population. By 1989, Vietnam’s population is heavily dominated by children, teens, and young adults. But by 2016, we’re starting to see these numbers taper off.
Many people are keen to argue that the appeal of Vietnam is its young population, but this window of youth and enthusiasm is slowly closing. Look at the numbers from 35 to 59 years old. Many of those numbers are doubling in a three decade period. It certainly means that there’s new businesses to be had for older demographics, but it could also mean that Vietnam’s swelling can no longer prop up the growth numbers Vietnam wants for the next few decades.
If Vietnam is starting to age, what are some social and economic opportunities and challenges that will arise from this demographic transition? Only time will tell, but it’s fair to say that Vietnam’s future may mirror those of other aging Asian countries that are a bit ahead of Vietnam’s timeline. Countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and China which are in more advanced economic periods, but were or are currently in similar stages of demographic transition like Vietnam not too long ago.