Recent advances in education and health have benefited Vietnamese youth, but early marriage and road safety are barriers to their advancement.
Vietnam has mixed scores across domains, placing it 25th overall and in the bottom tier of countries in the Index. It ranks in the top tier of countries in health but has lower ranks in the citizen participation, information and communication technology (ICT), and safety and security domains.
Within the health domain, the objective measures are mixed. Twenty-four percent of Vietnamese youth use tobacco products, and the country places near the middle for adolescent fertility (16th), with 39 births per 1,000 young women ages 15 to 19. Ten percent of women in that age group are married, a relatively high figure that negatively impacts Vietnam’s rank within the gender equality domain.
Among Index countries, Vietnam is 12th within the education domain. Public spending is high, at 21 percent of the national budget, as is the lower secondary completion rate (94 percent of the relevant age group). However, the country has the fourth lowest score for the secondary enrollment for both sexes (58 percent).
Within citizen participation, indicators are also mixed. The country has a low rank for the democracy indicator (25th) but compares positively to other Index countries in terms of having a comprehensive national youth policy and a lower age for office (21 years).
Vietnam ranks 24th in the ICT domain. The country is 22nd for ICT development and 24th for internet usage. One notable exception is mobile phone subscriptions, for which Vietnam has the 7th highest rate among Index countries.
Vietnam’s performance on safety and security indicators varies. Vietnam fares well for internal peace (9th). The incidence of youth interpersonal violence (6 deaths per 100,000 youth) is well below the Index average of 19 per 100,000. However, road safety is a significant issue. In line with the worldwide trend, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among Vietnamese youth (68 deaths per 100,000 youth).
The Global Millennial Viewpoints Survey
In terms of youth perceptions on health, 74 percent of Vietnamese youth surveyed feel that they are in near perfect health, although 48 percent classify their lives as too stressful. These figures are in the middle range of Index countries. However, youth perceptions of violence are concerning: 33 percent surveyed placed violence, abuse, bullying, or harassment at work or school in their top three safety concerns.
Interestingly, only 32 percent of Vietnamese youth polled think that their standard of living will be better than their parents. This figure is closer to more developed nations where the standard of living is higher, such as Australia (32 percent) and the United Kingdom (30 percent).
Ninety-five percent of Vietnamese youth surveyed believe that men and women should have equal rights, a proportion that is on par with Sweden and Australia (both at 96 percent). Seventy-one percent of youth surveyed are satisfied with their educational system, and 63 percent believe that the government does not care about their wants and needs.