Middle-class Vietnamese: who are they?
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam is an attractive consumer market, listed among the top five ASEAN countries with the fastest increase in the number of middle-class consumers.

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The middle-class index has five indicators – income & spending, education, housing, life and career. 

Middle-class people can be divided into three groups: lower middle-class including those who can satisfy three out of five criteria, average middle-class who can satisfy four criteria, and higher middle-class, those who can satisfy all five criteria.

Considering that the population was 86.9 million in 2010, and assuming that a family averages four members, there were 7.4 million middle-class households in 2010, or 29.58 million.

However,  34 percent of middle-class households satisfied only three criteria, while 19 percent could satisfy four and 7 percent all five.

Vietnam is an attractive consumer market, listed among the top five ASEAN countries with the fastest increase in the number of middle-class consumers.
A report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released in 2013 showed that Vietnam had a rapid increase of the middle class. It predicted that 32 million Vietnamese would be listed as middle-class by 2020.

ANZ believes that the growth rate of the Vietnamese middle class is the fastest in Asia. It is estimated that 2 million Vietnamese join the middle class every year.

As the number of middle-class earners has been increasing rapidly, Vietnam has witnessed a consumption boom in recent years. 

Cultural trends, social wishes and spending power are the three main factors which affect people’s spending and purchasing habits.

The reports by market survey firms all show that the middle-class tend to spend more money to buy things for themselves, especially on food services, technology products, cars, household appliances and traveling.

Going to restaurants is the top priority for the middle class, with many new restaurants popping up.  
Vietnamese also spend money on hi-tech products, cars and jewelries. 

Vietnam, for example, is known as one of the hottest markets for Apple with sales increasing by three times in the first three months of 2014 alone and by two times in the following months. 

An analyst said that Vietnamese like to buy the latest-generation smartphones, as they see them as a status symbol.

A survey by Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (HILL ASEAN) found that the middle class has been expanding rapidly in five ASEAN countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In Vietnam, 50 percent of population would be listed as ‘middle class’ with income of $5,000-35,000 a year. 

However, considering people’s awareness, 96 percent of Vietnamese think their incomes are high enough to be among the ‘middle class’.


Luong Bang


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