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Overview

Vietnam has been a development success story. Economic reforms since the launch of Đổi Mới in 1986, coupled with beneficial global trends, have helped propel Vietnam from being one of the world’s poorest nations to a middle-income economy in one generation. Between 2002 and 2022, GDP per capita increased 3.6 times, reaching almost US$3,700. Poverty rates (US$3.65/day, 2017 PPP) declined from 14 in 2010 to 3.8 percent in 2020.

Thanks to its solid foundations, the economy has proven resilient through different crises. Economic growth is projected to reach 4.7% in 2023 due to the moderation of domestic demand and the challenging external environment, and gradually accelerating to 5.5% in 2024 and 6.0% in 2025[MM1] [NHN2] .

Growing at 2.5 to 3.5 percent per year over the past three decades, the agriculture sector has supported economic growth and ensured food security. It contributed 13 percent of GDP and 29 percent of employment in 2021.

Health outcomes have improved along with rising living standards. Infant mortality rates fell from 32.6 per 1,000 live births in 1993 to 16.7 in 2020. Life expectancy rose from 70.5 to 75.5 years between 1990 and 2020. Vietnam’s universal health coverage index is at 73—higher than regional and global averages—with 87 percent of the population covered by the national health insurance scheme.

Vietnam’s average duration of (learning-adjusted) schooling is 10.2 years, second only to Singapore among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Its human capital index is 0.69 out of a maximum of one, the highest among lower middle-income economies.

Access to infrastructure services has increased dramatically. As of 2019, 99.4 percent of the population used electricity as their main source of lighting, up from just 14 percent in 1993. Access to clean water in rural areas has also improved—up from 17 percent in 1993 to 51 percent in 2020.

Vietnam has grown bolder in its development aspirations, aiming to become a high-income country by 2045. Vietnam also aims to grow in a greener, more inclusive way, and has committed to reducing methane emissions by 30 percent and halting deforestation by 2030 while achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

A few megatrends are shaping the future of Vietnam. The country’s population is rapidly aging and global trade is declining. Environmental degradation, climate change, and the rise of automation are growing. The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis presented unprecedented challenges that might undermine progress towards development goals.

To rise to these challenges, Vietnam needs to dramatically improve its performance to implement policies particularly in finance, environment, digital transformation, poverty/social protection, and low-carbon infrastructure. Adapting to climate impacts and pursuing a growth strategy that steers the economy away from carbon-intensive production will help the country achieve its climate objectives while expanding its GDP per capita by around six percent a year – the average rate needed to become a high-income country by 2045.

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2023

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người dân ở một số khu vực nông thôn nghèo nhất Việt Nam được tiếp cận với nguồn điện ổn định lần đầu tiên trong đời nhờ Dự án Năng lượng Nông thôn. (Tiếng Anh)

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Vietnam: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments
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Hanoi, Vietnam
63 Ly Thai To Street
+84 243-934-6600
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1818 H Street NW
+1 202-473-4709