Are Sex Ratios at Birth Increasing in Vietnam?

Vietnam: Issues of Inequality, Gender and Health
By Danièle Bélanger, Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Liu Jianye, Thuy Le Thanh, Pham Viet Thanh


Research has identified that low fertility and son preference have led to high sex ratios at birth in India, South Korea and China. In this paper, we present sex ratios at birth from the 1989 and 1999 population censuses of Vietnam, from hospital data for Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and from the 1997-98 Vietnam Living Standards Survey.
Overall, census data do not show any increase in the sex ratio at birth. Hospital data by birth order for the year 2001, however, suggest that sex ratios at birth increase by birth order among births recorded in the hospital located in Hanoi, but not in the one located in Ho Chi Minh City. Survey data from the Vietnam Living Standards Survey of 1997-98 indicate that high parity children are more likely to be sons. In the discussion, factors that could explain the findings are reviewed.

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