After its Renovation policy (or Doi Moi) with market-oriented reforms initiated in 1986, Vietnam has been one of the fastest growing Asian economies, with the annual growth rate fluctuating around 6 – 7 per cent for the past 30 years. The country has also been considered as a successful model for fulfilling Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with particular regard to poverty reduction. However, despite such achievements, Vietnam still faces many problems in terms of the quality of growth, sustainable investment and social protection of vulnerable populations, who have been left behind Vietnam’s successful stories.
One important consequence of the overall economic growth has been the increase in domestic migration. Nationwide, 13.6% of the population are migrants, of which the migration rate of the population aged 15 to 59 is 17.3% (UNFPA, 2016). Increasing migration reflects not only economic growth but also important regional socioeconomic disparities, particularly between the cities and the countryside, and the growing labour market in large cities and the expanding industrial zones. Up to 19.7% of the urban population are migrants, while in rural areas it stays at 13.4%. 79.1% of migrants originate in rural areas, while the rest (20.9%) have urban origins. The urbanization rate continues to accelerate in the coming time, with the closest estimation or urban dwellers at 40% of the population in 2020, it is certain that domestic migration and its impacts will pose different challenges for policy makers.