PIP: Attention in this discussion of Viet Nam focuses on the following: history of the demographic situation; the government's overall approach to population problems; population data systems and development planning; institutional arangements for the integration of population within development planning; the government's view of the importance of population policy in achieving development objectives; population size, growth, and natural increase; morbidity and mortality; fertility; international migration; and spatial distribution. Relatively little information has been available on demographic trends in Viet Nam due to the absence of any major survey or census until the last few decades. The government increasingly has been concerned about the high rate of population growth and is working to change the situation through programs directed at fertility reduction. As part of its program for overall social and economic restructuring, the government seeks to give special attention to health problems, particularly those relating to maternal and child health and environmental sanitation. Population censuses in Viet Nam have been undertaken only in the last 2 decades, with censuses conducted in the North in 1960 and 1974. No population census was undertaken in the South, and any population information available was based upon the periodic population and household surveys conducted alternately in different provinces, cities, and rural areas during 1962, 1967, 1971, and 1974. The government considers the formulation and implementation of population policy to be a critical variable for realizing national development objectives. The population of Viet Nam has grown considerably since the 1950s, increasing from over 30 million in 1950 to 35.4 million in 1960 and reaching 43.1 million by 1970, according to UN estimates. 1979 census results indicate that the population of Viet Nam had reached 52.7 million. The current rate of growth is estimated at 2.2%. The government perceives the current rate of population growth as unsatisfactory because it is too high. The official government policy is to take steps to reduce the rate of population growth as rapidly as possible. All 3 demographic factors--mortality, fertility, and spatial distribution--are viewed as subject to direct policy intervention to achieve this goal. Rates of morbidity and mortality have declined considerably in the past few decades. The government reports a decline in the crude death rate from 12.2 in 1957 to 7.0 in 1980 and an increase in the life expectancy at birth from 34 years in 1936 to 60 in 1978. UN estimates are considerably higher. According to UN estimates, the infant mortality rate was 90.3/1000 live births during 1975-80 for Viet Nam as a whole. The current mortality and morbidity situation is considered to be unacceptable. The government estimates the crude birthrate as 29.3/1000 in 1980, an unsatisfactory level. The government perceives the present levels and trends of immigration as not significant and satisfactory and the spatial distribution as inappropriate.