Chasing Dreams: Transforming to a Middle-Class Society in Vietnam


Le Kim Sa and Nguyen Cam Nhung

Abstract: In Vietnam’s reform process, the emergence of the middle class is the consequence of the nation’s socio-economic development. Recent data on living standard issued by the General Statistics Office showed that, the middle class in Vietnam has been emerged, which provides positive meaning for the Vietnam modern society. In the next decades, Vietnam will be a middle-class society and the focus of policies should be changed, from pro-poor to promoting the middle class and to manage the risks that might pull back the socio-economic improvement. As Vietnam’s middle class is newly emerging, the government should have policy to increase this class in both relative and absolute terms. The social and economic challenges raised by the emerging Vietnamese middle class are multi-faceted. Although the middle-income group is in a phase of rapid expansion, it is far from being sufficiently homogenous to feature a shared socio-cultural identity, akin to a middle-class identity. While rapid economic development has resulted in sharp poverty reduction, socioeconomic disparities among the middle-income strata have become increasingly visible in everyday life.

Keywords: middle class, social mobility, middle society, Vietnam.