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The population of Vietnam is estimated to have reached a level of approximately 78 million by 2001. The growth rate has been falling in recent years and was 1.7 per cent per year in 1999 and said to be 1.5 to 1.6 percent in 2000.
The population is predominantly rural, with a proportion of about 20 per cent in urban areas remaining almost constant since the mid-1970s. The overall population density is 235 per km2 but the density is higher along the coastal plain, where most of the agricultural activity is concentrated.
The population of Quang Nam – Danang Province was almost 2 million before the city of Danang, which has a population of about 723,000, occupied an area of 1,248.4 km2, was given the status of a municipality and separated from the rest of the Province. The population of Thua Thien - Hue was almost 1,050,000 in 1999 and occupied an area of 5,009 km2.
The nation’s current low population growth rates are expected to rise again slightly, but after 2003 a sustained decrease is expected. The creation of employment opportunities in the Danang region is expected to result in population growth above the national average.
POPULATION CHART OF TT-HUE, DANANG AND QUANGNAM IN 2001
In 1989, Vietnam introduced an ambitious reform program, which included a transition to a market economy. Key features of the new economic policy were decentralization of controls, expansion of international relations, and an emphasis on industry. After implementing these changes, Vietnam has achieved rapid economic growth during the 1990s. If valued at current prices the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an average of over 27 per cent per year between 1991 and 1996, but this is greatly distorted by the rapid inflation occurring during the period. If measured with 1989 as a constant, price growth averaged 8.9 per cent per year over this period. If measured in terms of GDP per head the real rate of growth was 6.6 per cent per year.
The Danang area has shown particularly rapid growth in recent years. In the three years from 1993 to 1996 real growth in GDP per capita averaged over 10 per cent per year, as a result of expansion in industry and services. As a result, per capita DGP is well above the national average . In 1999 it was US$ 488 in Danang municipality in comparison with US$ 400 of Vietnam. To the year 2001, it was
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) IN 2001
The focus of economic growth is on economic development zones which are being established in the northern, central and southern regions of Vietnam as export processing zones and industrial estates.
In the central region, Danang is the focal point of the development zone. The planned industrial estates include Lien Chieu, Hoa Khanh, Danang and Dien Ngoc - QuangNam province. Another main center is Dung Quat to the south of Danang.
Economic growth is expected to continue in the future. Vietnam has avoided the sharp economic downturn that has affected several Southeast Asian economies during 1997-1998. The industrialization of the Danang region is expected to maintain income growth significantly above the national average.
Vietnam has a road network of approximately 106,000 km, although the majority of this consists of unpaved rural roads of low standard. Only 10 percent of the total network is paved. Unpaved roads are often impassable during periods of rain.
The National Highway network consists of 10,300 km of roads, with Highway No. 1 comprising 2,119 km of this total. Most of the national highways, including all of Highway No. 1, have paved surfaces but some still have only gravel or earth surfaces. Two national highways in the central area of Vietnam, highway No. 14 and Highway No.24, have long unpaved sections, or sections which have become impassable to traffic. Priority in the road sector has been given to the rehabilitation of Highway No. 1, with several major projects underway or under preparation. The whole route should have been rehabilitated by 2000.
By the mid-1990s the motor vehicle fleet in Vietnam had grown to over 333,000 vehicles, excluding motorcycles which numbered almost 3 million.
The national railway network has a length of just over 2,500-km, including a north-south line which passes through central Vietnam parallel to Highway No. 1. The network is in poor condition, with speed restrictions applying on many sections.
A spur line connects the station at Danang to the main north-south line. Passenger numbers using railway service to and from Danang have decreased during the 1990s, from almost 1.3 million per year in 1991 to 664,000. The reason for this fall is believed to be the completion of the rehabilitation of Highway No. 1 in the area in 1992. The number of through passengers recorded increased over the same period, from 280,000 to 380,000. The total of freight traffic handled at Danang over the period increased only slightly, from about 900,000 tons in 1991 to just over 1 million tons in 1996. Most of the increase was in through traffic, which had grown to about 480,000 tons in 1996.
Vietnam has a large inland water transport network, with about 11,000 km of navigable waterways open throughout the year. This network is concentrated in the north and south of the country, with little use of inland water transport in the central regions.
The national sea-going fleet is small and consists largely of small, old ships. The only major sea port at present in the region is the port Danang. It can accommodate ships of up to 15,000 tonnes and can handle about 700,000 tonnes of cargo per year. There are a number of smaller special purpose wharves in the area for fishing boats, coastal oil tankers and military use.
The main airport in the region is at Danang, which handles many domestic aircraft but has some international services. It is the third largest airport in Vietnam in terms of air traffic handled. To the north there is an airport at Phu Bai which serves Hue and has services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city.