Vietnam's Older Population: The View from the Census
The present study provides a descriptive analysis of Vietnam's older population based primarily on special tabulations from the 3 percent public use sample of the 1999 census. Comparison with the 1989 census reveals remarkable stability in the living arrangements of Vietnamese elderly with respect to coresidence with children, even as the country is a undergoing a major transformation of its economy. Rural elderly are far more like to remain economically active and to be clearly disadvantaged in terms of educational attainment, housing quality, and access to mass media. Women compare unfavorably to men with respect to formal educational attainment and literacy and are far more likely to be widowed. Older men and women, however, do not differ in terms of housing quality nor in the likelihood of coresiding with children. While older women are less likely to be economically active than men, they are more likely to be active in house keeping and related work. Thus many older Vietnamese men and women are not simply dependents but make useful contributions to the family's ability to sustain themselves.