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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2017.58.173

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Чан Тхи. Чук. ВЛИЯНИЕ ВНУТРЕННЕЙ МИГРАЦИИ НА СОЦИАЛЬНЫЕ АСПЕКТЫ ЖИЗНИ ПОЖИЛЫХ ЛЮДЕЙ ВО ВЬЕТНАМЕ / Тхи. Чук. Чан // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2017. — № 04 (58) Часть 3. — С. 134—139. — URL: https://research-journal.org/economical/the-impact-of-internal-migration-on-the-social-aspects-of-the-elderly-left-behind-of-vietnam/ (дата обращения: 19.06.2019. ). doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2017.58.173
Чан Тхи. Чук. ВЛИЯНИЕ ВНУТРЕННЕЙ МИГРАЦИИ НА СОЦИАЛЬНЫЕ АСПЕКТЫ ЖИЗНИ ПОЖИЛЫХ ЛЮДЕЙ ВО ВЬЕТНАМЕ / Тхи. Чук. Чан // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2017. — № 04 (58) Часть 3. — С. 134—139. doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2017.58.173

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ВЛИЯНИЕ ВНУТРЕННЕЙ МИГРАЦИИ НА СОЦИАЛЬНЫЕ АСПЕКТЫ ЖИЗНИ ПОЖИЛЫХ ЛЮДЕЙ ВО ВЬЕТНАМЕ

Чан Тхи Чук

ORCID: 0000-0002-9431-8866, Академия политики и развития

ВЛИЯНИЕ ВНУТРЕННЕЙ МИГРАЦИИ НА СОЦИАЛЬНЫЕ АСПЕКТЫ ЖИЗНИ ПОЖИЛЫХ ЛЮДЕЙ ВО ВЬЕТНАМЕ

Аннотация

В условиях быстро стареющего населения, жизнь пожилых людей значительно изменилась с учетом социально-экономических рисков. Высокая мобильность людей трудоспособного возраста в сельских и городских районах наложила свой отпечаток на пожилых людей, живущих в сельских районах. В исследовании процессов старения населения Вьетнама, проведенном в 2011 году (VNAS 2011), использовались модели логистической регрессии для анализа влияния внутренней миграции взрослых детей на социальные аспекты жизни их пожилых родителей. Основное внимание в исследовании уделяется двум основным аспектам социальной жизни – участию в общественных организациях и доступу к СМИ. Пояснительные переменные в модели включают в себя внутреннюю миграцию детей, возраст, пол, район, образование, а также доход от домохозяйства. Исследование доказало, что у пожилых родителей, чьи дети мигрировали в пределах страны, лучшая социальная жизнь, чем у тех, у кого нет мигрировавших детей. Кроме того, исследование показало, что существуют другие факторы, которые положительно влияют на социальную жизнь пожилых людей во Вьетнаме: возраст, доходы домашних хозяйств, а также уровень образования.

Ключевые слова: пожилые люди, внутренняя миграция, денежные переводы, социальная жизнь, население, Вьетнам.

Tran Thi Truc

ORCID: 0000-0002-9431-8866, Academy of Policy and Development

THE IMPACT OF INTERNAL MIGRATION ON THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE ELDERLY LEFT BEHIND OF VIETNAM

Abstract

In the context of rapidly aging population, the lives of the elderly have been significantly changing with the socio-economic risks. Simultaneously the strong rural-urban mobility of the people at the working age has imposed a great impact on the elderly left behind, especially those living in rural areas. With the Vietnamese Aging Survey in the year 2011 (VNAS 2011), the study applied logistic regression models to analyze the impact of the adult children’s domestic migration on the social aspects of the elderly left behind of Vietnam.  The study has focused on two main aspects of social lives which are the social association participation and media accessing. The model’s explanatory variables are having domestic migration children, age, gender, residential region, education, as well as the household’s income. The study has proved that the old-age parents with domestic migration children have better social lives than those without domestic migration children. Besides, the study has also further illustrated that there are some other factors which affect positively on the social lives of the elderly left behind in Vietnam as their children migrate from rural to urban areas to earn for living such as the elderly’s age, residential regions, household income, as well as education level.

Keywords: elderly, internal migration, remittance, social life, population, Vietnam.

1. Introduction

The population of Vietnam has been gradually moving towards the end of “the demographic transition” with the rapid decline in the rate of fertility and the great improvement in life expectancies [13]. Vietnam will have been experiencing a rapidly aging speed, which is two times faster than those of the developed countries, by next four decades. Particularly, the rate of people at the age of 65 and over will have been increasing by two times by nearly coming 20 years, which took the developed countries namely Sweden, France, the United States, etc… from 75 years to 100 years to reach [11]. According to UNFPA [21], the rate of population aged 65 years or more of Vietnam has reached the threshold of 7%, simultaneously the Vietnam population also has officially moved towards the stage of “aging population’” since 2009.

Moreover, the recently substantial industrialization and urbanization speed of Vietnam has made the living arrangement of the elderly, especially the elderly living in rural areas – which accounted for more than 70% of the national old-age people – significantly changed. Previously, in rural areas of Vietnam, the traditional family type consisted of the multi-generation families, in which members of several successive generations lived together and shared the resources. However, recently the family structure has been remarkably changed from the multi-generation to the nuclear families of only the old-age couple or the skip-generation families of the old-age couple and grandchildren. One of the main reasons for the changed living conditions of the elderly in rural areas can be rooted that the children at the working age migrate from rural to urban areas to look for the opportunities to earn for living. In Vietnam, the speed of migration, especially rural-to-urban migration has remarkably increased since 1986. Based on the General Statistics Office of Vietnam [20], during the period of from 1999 to 2009, the rate of inter-region migrants increased by 1,5 time, particularly from 19 migrants per thousand of people at the beginning of 1999 to 30 migrants per thousand of people in 2009. The number has been increasing recently.

The children’s migration has significantly impacted on the people left behind, specifically the elderly in rural areas. There has been a great number of studies assessing the effect of the children’s migration on the lives of the elderly left behind in all over the world. However, most of them have only focused on evaluating the effect on the elderly’s economic and health aspects created by the mobility children, their social aspects have been nearly ignored.

2. Literature review

2.1. The impact of internal migration on the left-behind elderly’s economic aspect

There have been a number of studies which on one hand analyzed the impact of the mobility children on the elderly left behind through financial support, labor productivity improvement, as well as working time reduction. Particularly, Lucas (1987) [10] proved that the children’s migration would make the agricultural productivity decreased in short term due to the decline in the families’ worker number. However, in long term the study showed that the remittance from the mobility children would help the left-behind family members improve the cultivating productivity and increase the number of livestock. Moreover, Lucas & Stark (1988) [9] concluded that the remittance from the mobility children helped households in rural areas of Botswana to cope with the cultivating risks resulted from natural calamities. Otherwise, Cameron and Cobb-Clark (2005) [1] argued that for the case of Indonesia, the remittance sent by the mobility children supported to improve the living standard of the old-age parents left behind, especially helped to reduce the cultivating time of the female old. However, the authors also added that the remittance was not sufficient enough for the full income of the old-age parents left behind due to the fact that the remittance was impossible to be forecasted and did not afford the elderly to pay for their living cost.

On the other hand, some other studies analyzed the impact of remittance on the poverty reduction and the living standard improvement of the old-age parents. Particularly, for the case of two South Asian countries of India and Bangladesh, the study of Wenger et al (2003) [2] concluded that the remittance from the migration children was often spent on improving the family members’ living standard and house building. As a result, the families with mobility workers often had more spacious houses than those of the families without mobility workers. Moreover, Chandrore (2009) [7] illustrated that the remittance from the migration children helped the left-behind elderly in Cambodia reduce their poverty significantly and improve their living standard because the elderly were short of farming land and the income gained from farming activities was not sufficient for their living standard. However, Sochanny Hak et al (2011) [17] proved that only the internationally migrating children gave a significant financial support, which was enough to help to reduce poverty for their old-age parents left behind in Cambodia. For the case of Moldova, the studies of Grant (2009) [3] and HAI and UNICEF (2010) [5] argued that the remittance from the migration children  was an essentially financial support for the elderly left behind. The authors further proved that the remittance was also a motivation for the children at the working age to migrate, but it was not a stable income source and reliable to help the family members left behind eliminate poverty.

2.2. The impact of internal migration on the left-behind elderly’s health

There have been a number of studies analyzing that the mobility children would provide a good financial condition for the old-age parents to approach health service. Specifically, Xiang Biao (2006) [23] proved that in China the elderly with the migration children would be given more gifts, money as well as health care than those without the mobility children. Another stydy of John Knodel et al (2007) [6] concluded that about one fourth of the interviewed old-age people answered that the children who migrated away from the old-age parents’ district would supply a better condition for their old-age parents to be taken care of health at either the place where the mobility children were living or anywhere outside the parents’ residential area. The study further made clear that the children moved to Bangkok or other urban areas were more likely to have a good understanding of best medical care facilities, as a result they would take their old-age parents to good medical service centers in case of their parents’ serious illness.

Other studies focused on other health aspects such as the self-rated health (SRH), activities of daily living (ADLs) or other physical or mental health aspects of the elderly left behind. Particularly, Kuhn et al (2011) [16] illustrated that in Indonesia the rate of the old-age parents with the mobility children having poor SHR or ADLs was less than those of  the old-age parents without the mobility children. Moreover, Ramesh et al (2011) [15] proved that although the mobility children had a bad effect on the left-behind parents’ mental health in Thailand, they would provide a better condition for their old-age parents to get a better health-care service. However, the study also showed that the migration children would not impact on the left-behind elderly’s physical health.

2.3. The impact of internal migration on the left-behind elderly’s social aspects

Generally, the impact of the mobility children on the left-behind elderly’s social aspects has been vaporously analyzed in a few number of international studies. Remarkably, Gautam (1999) [18] showed that the mobility children made their parents left behind take on burdens of housework, farming, as well as social duties such as public meetings, birth or death rituals or wedding party participation, etc. Besides, John Knodel et al (2007) [6] analyzed the impact of the migration children on the social aspects of the left-behind elderly in Thailand on the frequent face-to-face contacts or phone calls. The authors found out that keeping in touch or face-to-face meeting with the migration children were a valuable and essential source of “social and emotional support” for the elderly left behind. Moreover, according to Human Development Report of 2009 [22], the mobility children could help to improve the political and social status of the family members left behind. This can be explained that the migration workers returned and contributed to their families and communities with the progressive outlook gained from foreign countries. Furthermore, HAI and UNICEF in Moldova (2010) [5] analyzed that when the children migrated to earn for their living, their old-age parents left behind would be the representative for and take on the responsibility to rear and teach their grandchildren. However, the study also argued that the old-age parents would spend more time on cultural activities such as reading newspapers, listening to radio, watching TV, ect., when their children migrated out.

In Vietnam, although there have been a number of studies sheding a light on the impact of the mobility children on the elderly families left behind, most of them only discussed the role of remittance on the income improvement and poverty reduction of the family members left behind. Particularly, Barbieri (2006) [11], Giang and Pfau (2008) [4], Giang and Pfau (2010) [13], Nguyen Viet Cuong (2008) [12], Le and Nguyen (2011) [8] agreed that the remittance from both internal and international migration workers would play an important role on improving the living standard and reducing poverty of the family members left behind.

In general, the researchers in Vietnam have not comprehensively analyzed the impact of the mobility children, especially the rural-urban migration children on the socio-economic lives of the elderly left behind. In the context of rapid aging population, the lives of the old-age people have remarkably changed with the socio-economic risks and the strong rulral-urban mobility of workers. This paper aims to shed a light on the impact of the rulral-urban mobility children on the social aspects of the old-age parents left behind, which will play an essential role in making policies regarding the old-age people, especially those living in rural areas, as well as the rural-urban migrants in Vietnam.

3. Data and Methodology

3.1. Data

In order to analyse the impacts of the migration children on the social aspects of the elderly left behind, the study used the data from the Vietnam Aging Survey (VNAS) of 2011 [14]. The survey was conducted based on the results drawn from the Survey of Population and Housing of Vietnam in 2009, therefore the respondents were representative for the Vietnamese aged from 50 and over living in both rural and urban areas. VNAS 2011 was surveyed for over 4000 people at the age of 50 ore more. In which, there were 2,789 people aged 60 and over with 1,683 women and 1,106 men. Moreover, the survey consisted of 2,050 elderly living in rural areas and 739 ones living in urban areas.

VNAS 2011 gives the information of the elderly’s socio-demographic characteristics. Specifically, they are: (1) the demographic information including birth place, residence area, religion, ancestor worship, literacy, marital status; (2) the household living arrangement consisting of the number of children living in the same household and/or not living in the same household, the number of migration children, the children’s job, maternal/ paternal grandchildren; (3) the contribution made by the elderly to their families and communities; (4) housing condition; (5) the previous and present careers, as well as the imcome gained from those; (6) assets, financial supports, income support sources for their daily lives, in which consisting of the remittances from the mobility children, as well as the total household income; (7) social lives including participating into the social association and accessing the media such as radio, TV or internet; (8) citizen right understanding, as well as the physical and mental health status of the elderly.

3.2. Methodology

To analyze how the internal mobility children had impact on the social aspects of the old-age parents left behind, the author will apply logistic regression models. Notably, during the calculation, the weights of individuals and households are used to present the findings which are as representative as possible for the entire Vietnamese old-age people.

An old-age person i (i =1,2,…N, in which N – the total old-age population number) with the internal mobility children – is assumed to have a better condition to participate in any social activity (Pi=1). The probability, of which the old-age parent has a good social life can be determined by a logistic regression model as follows:

P(pi= 1) = βiXi + εi    (1)

In which:

Xi – represents the household and individual characteristics of the old-age person, in which having the internal mobility children is one characteristic;

β– is the relevant coefficient of each Xi;

εi – is the error term, and it is assumed to base on the normal distribution.

From the logistic model, the odd ratio can be calculated as Pi/(1-Pi). For each variable, there are two groups of the reference and treated groups. Therefore, the odd ratio of more than 1 means that the treated group is more likely to have a good social life than those of the reference group, and vice versa. The variables of the logistic regression models have been selected based on HAI & UNICEF in Moldova (2010) [5] and UNFPA (2011) [21] as follows:

The dependant variable is a nominal variable, which includes:

1) Social association participation: which includes social aspects of the old-age people such as participating in any social activity; frequency of social activity participation; being the member of Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE); being the member of Farmer Union; being the member of Veteran Association. This variable is selected based on UNFPA (2011) [21], which showed that the social aspects of the old-age people of Vietnam included the above characteristics.

2) Media accessing: which consists of reading nnewspaper/magazines; listening to Radio; watching Tivi; listening to Public speakers; accessing to Internet. This variable is chosen according to HAI & UNICEF in Moldova (2010) [5], which proved that as the children migrated, the old-age parents left behind spent much more time on cultural activities such as reading Newspaper; listening to Radio; watching Tivi, as well as reading books. Moreover, UNFPA (2011) [21] also presented the social activities of the old-age people in Vietnam consisting of reading newspaper/magazines, listening to Radio, watching TV, listening to Public speakers and accessing to the Internet.

The explanatory variables of the logistic regression model include: Having the internal mobility adult children: the adult children who are living in the provinces different from the residential provinces of the old-age parents. This variable is a nominal variable which is used as the main explainatory variable of the models. This variable is divided into two categories of «1 if having at least one migration child» and «0 if having no migration child». In the model, if the group of old-age parents without the migration children is selected as the reference group, the odd ratio of the treated group is expected to be larger than 1. This can be explained that the elderly with the migration children will have more conditions of time and finance to participate into any social activity or access the media to improve their knowledge than the others.

Other explanatory variables of the models used as the control variables, which include age; gender; marital status; education; residential region, household income as follows:

– Age: the old-age population has been divided into three groups, which are the 1st group of people at the age of from 60 to 69; the 2nd group of people at the age of 70 to 79 and the last one of people at the age of 80 and over.

If the 1st group is considered to be the reference group, the odd ratios are expected to be larger than 1 for the two others. This can be explained that the 1st group of old-age people are actually able to work for their living or have to give a hand to their children in doing housework, so they can not have enough condition to participate in any social association or access media.

– Gender: this variable is used to identify the potential gap in the probability of participating in any social activity or accessing the media between the male and female elderly. If the female group is chosen to be the reference group, the estimated odd ratio for the male group is expected to be larger than 1. This can be interpreted that in Vietnam, especially in rural areas, on one hand the old-age females often do housework or help their children to take care of grandchildren, etc. On the other hand, due to the traditional perception of  Vietnam, as well as the Confusianism countries, the women are often considred to be caregivers in their famities and so they are hindered to join in any social activities.

– Marital status: the elderly are categorized into three groups, which include the married group, the widows and the ‘other’ – which consists of divorced, separated and single elderly. The married group is selected to be the reference group. The estimated odds ratios for the other two groups are expected to be smaller than 1 because the other groups are much more vulnerable so they are not confident enough to participate in any social activities.

– Education: the elderly are divided into four sub-groups: the first goup consists of the old-people who have not finished the primary school level; the second group includes the elderly who have only completed the primary shool level; the third group gathers the old-people who have completed the secondary school level; and the last group consists of the elderly who have gotten the high school level and over.

The first group is chosen as the reference group. In the logistic regression model applied to identify the social aspects affected on the elderly caused by the mibility children, the estimated odd ratios are expected to be higher than 1 for the other groups. This can be explained that the higher education level the elderly achieved, the more likely they are to participate into social activities.

– Residential regions: the residential area is often significantly combined to capacity the old-age people access to social activities or the media. Due to the fact that in rural areas, the elderly are less likely to improve their social life through accessing the media or other activities, if the elderly living in rural areas are selected as the reference group, the odd ratio is expected to be higher than 1 for the ones living in urban areas.

– The elderly household income during the period of 12 months before the survey: the higher income of the households the old-age parents are living in, the more likely they are to participate into social activities or access the media. The old-age people households are divided into three groups, which are the 1st one consisting of the elderly households getting the income less than 10 million VND; the 2nd groups including the elderly households with the income ranging from 10 million VND to less than 100 million VND; and the last one of the elderly people having the income from 100 million VND and over. If the 1st group is considered as the reference group, the odd ratios for the others are expected to be higher than 1, because the old-age people living in the household with high income will be much more likely to participate into social association, as well as access the media to improve their social lives.

3.3. Empirical  results

The results estimated by the logistic regrassion model are expressed in table 1 which show the impacts caused by the mobility children and other determinants on the social aspects of the old-age parents left behind in Vietnam. The social aspects of the elderly in Vietnam including social association participation and media accessing are presented as follows:

Table 1 – The logistic regression results

11-04-2017 11-20-49

Note: * with the significant level  p<=10%; ** with  p<=5%; and  *** with p<=1%, (Source: the results estimated by the software STATA)

1) The determinants of the elderly’s social association participation

– Age: table 1 showed that the old the elderly are getting, the more likely they participate into the social associations such as Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE); Farmer Union; or Veteran Association. However, the 2nd group of old-age people is the most likely to participate into these activities. This can be caused by the reason that the elderly at the age of from 80 or more are often not healthy enough to do these activities, while the elderly at the younger age of from 60 to 70 often do not have got enough time to participate into these associations because of doing housework or earning for their living.

– Gender: the results show that the old-age male people are more likely to take part in the social association than their partner. This can be rooted as the methodology part.

– Residential regions: table 1 shows that the old-age people living in urban areas are less likely to join in the social associations than those living in rural areas. This can be blamed for that actually on one hand, the rural elderly accounted for the large part of 73,5% in the total national elderly, on the other hand the social associations in rural areas operate much more actively than those of urban areas.

– Having the internally mobility adult children: the results show that the old-age parents with the internally mobility adult children are more likely to take part in the social associations than those without the internally mobility adult children. This can be illustrated that as the children migrate to earn for their living, their old-age parents left behind do not spend time for taking care of the mobility children which make the elderly free and able to be the member of at least one social association, on one hand. On the other hand, the old-age parents with the mobility children are often financially supported through the remittance, as a result they are more likely to participate into the social association.

– Education: the higher education level the old-age parents achieved, the more likely they are to be the member of the social association. This can be blamed for that the elderly with higher education level are much more knowledgeble and capable to take part in a social association. Moreover, if the elderly have higher eduaction level, they were able to get a job with stable salary which helps them live on their retirement pension upon their retirement, so they are ensured leisured lives to join in the social association.

– The household income: the results proves that the household income is not significantly related to the elderly’s social association participation.

2) The media accessing

– Age: the regression results also illustrated that the old-age people at the age of 70 to 80 are more likely to access the media than the others. This can be explained that the 1st elderly group including people who are often busy with housework or earning for their living which prevents them from accessing the media, while the old-age people at the age of 80 or more are often restricted to access the media by the disabled health, especially limitation of hearing or seeing capability.

– Residential regions: the table shows that the elderly living in urban areas are more conditional enough to access the media than those living in rural areas. This can be caused by the reason that the old-age people in urban areas have got a higher living standard, so they are able to be equiped with full home conveniences such as TV, radio or internet, etc. Besides, the old-age people living in urban areas are often retired people, so they are much more likely to access the media to improve their social lives.

– Having the internally mobility adult children: the results show that the internally mobility adult children are positively related to the elderly’s media accessing. This was proved by HAI & UNICEF in Moldova (2010) [5], which argued that as the adult children migrate, the elderly left behind are free enough to cary out cultural activities such as reading Newspapers/Magazines, listening to Radio, watching TV, as well as reading books, etc.

– Education: table 1 shows that the education level is not significantly related to the elderly’s media accessing.

– The household income: the table presents that the elderly living in the households with higher income are much more likely to access the media than those living in the households with low income. This can be blamed for that the households with higher income are often equiped fully media appliance than the others.

  1. Conclusion

In general, in Vietnam the adult children moving from rural to urban areas to find opportunities to improve their lives have positively impacted on the social aspects of the elderly left behind. The regression results show that the internally mobility adult children affect positively on the left-behind elderly’s social association participation and media accessing. On one hand, this can be reasonable for the development of the communication methods, which make the children and their old-age parents left behind keep the regular contact. On the other hand, because the adult children migrate to a much more developed place, they will have chances to get higher-income jobs than they stay at their home town. As a result, the old-age parents with the migration adult children feel more secure about their children’s future and they also live more obtimistically than the others. Moreover, the migration children will be able to give financial supports for their old-age parents left behind, therefor the elderly with mobility children will be more economically confident to participate into any social activities than the others. These arguments are also suitable with the findings drawn from Chandore (2009) [7].

Last but not least, other findings shown in the study, which are really valuable for the readers, can prove that apart from the internal mobility adult children, other factors also have a remarkable impact on the elderly’s social life in Vietnam. These consist of age, residential regions, household income, as well as education level.

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