Baby girl becomes Vietnam's official 90 millionth citizen

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Vietnam's official 90 millionth citizen was born in Hanoi at 2:45am Friday.

The news was released at 5:45 a.m. by Dr. Le Thien Thai, deputy director of National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology where the baby was born, and the General Office of Population and Family Planning.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Dung, weighing 3.2 kilograms, is the second child of Nguyen Van Dung, 31, and Le Thi Duyen, 27, a couple from Hai Duong Province's Nam Sach District. Their first girl is now in first grade.

She was successfully delivered with the help of 16 hospital staff.

Dung was chosen randomly as the official 90 millionth citizen from a selection of 10 babies born at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology and several others born at hospitals nationwide from midnight until 5 a.m. Friday.

Dung said the baby girl would be his last child, and that the child's gender did not matter to him. He said the only important thing was that his wife had a healthy delivery and that the couple will raise their daughters well.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien visited Dung at the hospital later that morning as part of official state celebrations of the birth.

On Saturday morning, 2,013 people took part in a parade on Hoang Sa and Truong Sa streets in Ho Chi Minh City, and a live concert was held at the Hanoi Opera House in the evening to celebrate the population milestone.

Duong Quoc Trong, director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning, said with its 90 million citizens, Vietnam is the 14th most populated country in the world and the third in Southeast Asia.

Trong said an all-round population survey in 1989 had forecast that the figure of 90 million would be reached in 2002 and go up to 105 million in 2010 but it did not, thanks to the country's successful measures in reducing the birth rate.

He told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the Vietnamese population increases by 900,000 people every year, and it is expected to hit 100 million in 15 years before reaching 105 million sometime between 2040 and 2050.

He said Vietnam has enjoyed a "golden population structure" since 2007, which means that every two working people aged 15-64 support one dependant, and the period will last for 35 years.

But he said the period still brings many challenges such as a low number of citizens who receive professional training despite high literacy rates, and an aging population.

OFFICIAL BABY

The General Office for Population and Family Planning wanted the official 90 millionth baby to meet several criteria, and tiny Dung was chosen randomly out of a larger batch selected by the government for meeting the following requirements:

- The baby should be a female born to a middle class family.
- The baby should have one older sister.
- The baby should be born naturally (not by Caesarean).
- The baby's family should live near Hanoi.

Organizers decided to chose a baby from the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology because more babies are born there than anywhere else in the country. An average 70 births take place at the hospital each day.

(Tri Thuc Tre)

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