The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) reports that the gap between the rich and poor in Vietnam is widening.
Gap widens between rich and poor
According to the World Bank, income inequality has grown since 2002.
A Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs report issued in 2011 stated that the number of poor households had risen up to one million, a 50% rise after the poverty threshold was adjusted. Minimum incomes were raised from VND200,000 (USD9.6) to VND400,000 (USD19) per person per month in rural areas and from VND260,000 (USD12.4) to VND500,000 (USD24) in the cities.
Poor households now accounted for 20% of Vietnam population.
In 2011, the average income in Hanoi was USD1,850, in HCM City USD3,000 and in Can Tho City USD2,350.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau is considered the richest province with an average income in 2010 of USD5,800, five times higher than the national average income. By 2015 average incomes in HCM City are estimated to reach USD4,800, USD3,300 in Hanoi and USD15,000 in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, mainly due incomes from the oil industry.
The number of people whose assets are worth over USD1 million is dramatically increasing, with nearly 170 dollar millionaires in 2011. The 100 richest people in 2011 had USD2 million in securities and two of them qualified for the US’ USD100 million CEO Club.
In contrast, the incomes of the poorest provinces have fallen further behind. In 2011, the per capita income in Nam Dinh was USD900, in Bac Kan it was USD700.
Quang Ngai and Ha Giang’s average incomes are a mere USD400 and 300 per capita.
Most of these poor provinces lack natural resources, transport infrastructure and tourism, posing a challenge for the government.
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