Vietnam is the country with the highest urbanisation rate in Southeast Asia. Just a decade ago, only 24% of its population lived in cities, with 65% of the labour force employed in rural agriculture. Today, already more than 30 million people live in urban areas, accounting for approximately 34% of Vietnam’s total population. The country is witnessing a speedy proliferation of urban areas, with the number of towns or cities at 755 and rising.
Planners estimate that Vietnam’s cities will be home to more than 46 million people by the year 2020. The largest of these cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are the growth engines of the country, supported by relatively low urban unemployment at 4.6%. In contrast, rural unemployment is reported to be over 20%.With its newly attained status as a middle income country and its ambitions to achieve higher levels of human development, Vietnam needs to address challenges in basic social service provision for both rural and urban populations. In particular, Vietnam will have to cope with rural-urban migration, a global megatrend that will continue to trouble city planners for the foreseeable future. Many poor rural Vietnamese will try their luck in the thriving urban centres, perceiving them to be full of job opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers.
- Please pray for rural immigrants in the urban areas of Viet Nam to find the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ as they seek a higher standard of living.
- Pray also for the Believers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to see the poor population surrounding them and respond with the same compassion as Christ when He saw the crowds. Pray that Believers would actively reach out and help the poor.
- Please pray that the Gospel would be proclaimed boldly to the urban poor and that persons of peace would be found among them. Pray that God would be glorified as many come to Christ, follow Him in obedience, sharing with their family and friends. Pray that a multiplication of Believers and churches would result blanketing not just the cities but the entire country of Viet Nam.
For more information about the urban poor in Viet Nam and especially in Hanoi, see the following from Asian Trends Monitoring: