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Migrants cope with city life in fast urbanizing Vietnam

Traffic jams are one of the urban ills the many Vietnamese villagers streaming into Ho Chi Minh City must contend with. (View Apart /

Migrants flooding into Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and other Vietnamese cities face an array of challenges once they get there. AFP reports that many villagers struggle with cramped housing, traffic congestion and low-wage jobs.

In Vietnam’s two largest cities, infrastructure is overstretched. “Roads, water supplies and drainage can hardly keep pace with the city’s growth,” the article says. Vietnam has a “household registration” system that makes it difficult for citizens who leave their hometowns to access free schools and healthcare. But bribes and other corruption provide a means around the restrictions.

From 2000 to 2010, an estimated 7.5 million villagers in Vietnam relocated to cities, the newswire says. That tide has helped fuel an urbanization rate that is the third highest in East Asia, after Laos and Cambodia. Each year, Hanoi adds about 100,000 residents and Ho Chi Minh absorbs about 130,000. 


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