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Old July 17th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Default Urban Poverty Dynamics

Urban Poverty Dynamics

Typical of East Asian countries, poverty is concentrated in rural areas in Vietnam, particularly mountainous regions; 19.7% (2000) of rural people are classified as poor. By contrast 7.8% of urban people, totaling 265,000 households, are classified as poor.27 As Vietnam moves through a double transition ([i] from rural to urban, and [ii] from a planned to market economy), impacts on urban societal groups have varied. Generally those in the foreign-invested sectors have fared better, as well as those who have retained jobs in the state sector. However, living conditions have deteriorated for many redundant public sector employees who have been forced to shift to the non-state, and often informal, sector.

Another vulnerable group is unregistered migrants. They usually have unstable jobs and have very limited access to social services and/or must pay more for these services, similar to the Chinese situation, although China is liberalizing its hukou system faster than Vietnam.

Although estimates of substandard housing vary widely, it is clear that slums are extensive and growing. For example, the Land and Housing Department estimates that at least 300,000 people live in slums in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) while 30% of Hanoiís population are living in very crowded conditions with living space per capita under three square metres. Soaring land prices(land prices increased by over 500% in both Hanoi and HCMC in the 1990s) will make addressing the housing problem an even steeper challenge, especially given the fact that approximately one million people will be added to Vietnamís urban areas each year for the next 20 years.

Source: World Bank
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