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Vietnam's population hovers at around 84 million, making it the 13th most populous country in the world, and with its population growth rate it might soon hit the top 10. Vietnam is a young country, with an incredible 65% of the population under the age of 30 , and after years of revolutionary initiatives encouraging large families, a two -child policy is now enforced in urban areas. Traditionally a rural agrarian society, the race is on for the move to the cities. Like Thailand and Malaysia before it, Vietnam is experiencing a treĀ­mendous shift in the balance of population, as increasing numbers of young people desert the fields in search of those mythical streets paved with gold in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). The populat ion of HCMC and its suburbs is already approaching seven million, Hanoi has more than three million, and both Danang and Haiphong are millionaires. As economic migrants continue to seek their fortune, these numbers look set to soar.
How has Vietnam changed in your lifetime? Vietnam has changed in so many ways. It is not so long ago that Vietnam had food shortages I and now we are one of the largest exporting rice countries in the world. More freedom to study overseas, plus increasing access to information from the internet, is contributing to more open-mindedness in Vietnam. Vietnamese people have more choices in what they want for their lives: what they want to study, what they want to buy, what they want to do, where they want to go. Life is just not as difficult as it was in my parents time days before doi moi (1986).

How has Saigon changed?
Saigon has changed so much. As a local, I can feel the changes in every little corner. People have more liberty and freedom in their lives. Saigon is a young dynamic city where people can have fun. We have learned to be more relaxed and live life to the full. Physically, the city has changed a lot, with new buildings altering the skyline every year. It's not as crazy as Bangkok yet, but it is getting there.
How has your life changed?
I am 30 years old now, so I didn't really experience the difficulties of my parents' generation. But I have heard a lot of stories and often compare my life to that of my father. I have been a lot more lucky than him. I am living without the war. I am living very comfortably. I can choose to study at university. I can choose any job or career. I can choose where I want to go for holiday. When my father was this age. he just didn't have any real choices.