Comparing Singapore and Vietnam

An effort of comparing Singapore Vietnam needs much more patience than would conventionally be expected. This is because life in the two countries can only be compared to the extreme ends of a pendulum, with a few traces here and there of commonality. Having lived in Vietnam, for example, entry to the life in Singapore is very much akin to entrance to an Aladdin’s cave! Needless to say, however, this article compares the two countries on a number of fronts.


Life Expectancy


To begin with, a Singaporean’s typical life expectancy is 84.380 years as compared to Vietnam’s 72.910 years. This is reflective of the fact that people in Singapore live longer than those in Vietnam.  That translates to an individual potentially living 11.5 more years in Singapore than in Vietnam. In terms of infancy mortality rates, you are 86% or thereabout less likely to die at infancy in Singapore than in Vietnam. That means, in every 1000 infants in Vietnam, 18.99 do not make it to the age of one.


The underlying factor behind the foregoing statistics is the fact that the medical facilities in Singapore, coupled with other factors such as a sustainable economy to buy nutritious foods among other reasons, immensely contribute to the longer life span. A serious afterthought in this regard, however, is the fact that the life expectancy comes at a humongous medical cost to the country’s economy.  A resident of Singapore is likely to pay in excess of 23 more times for medical costs than one in Vietnam. This has, ostensibly, worked in Singapore’s favor given the fact that the country has a low population to wholly meet its need for specialized human capital.


Return on Employment


In terms of the percentage of labor force, Singapore’s unemployment stands at 1.90% while the same stands at 1.30% in Vietnam. In can, as a result, be inferred that one is 46.15% likely to more unemployed in Singapore than in Vietnam. With a GDP of more than $67,000, however, anyone employed in Singapore is likely to make more than 15 times more money that a typical Vietnamese employee. This, definitely, is a pointer towards the lower remuneration packages available in Vietnam. The returns of being employed are therefore higher— and advantageous— in Singapore than in Vietnam, the percentage of employment notwithstanding.


Crime Rates


According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, a resident of Singapore is 80% less likely to be involved in a crime that leads to death than would be the case in Vietnam. This means, the crime rates in Vietnam are high. In every 100, 000 people, Vietnam loses an average 1.50 people as compared to the almost negligible 0.30 people in Singapore.   You are likely to lose your life on a higher scale if you are walking on. Say a deserted street, in Vietnam more than Singapore. Often, such statistics indicate that poverty indices in Vietnam are higher and people may be propelled in to crime in order to makes ends meet.


Female Representation


This is an area that Vietnam does perform better than Singapore. Female representation is slightly higher in Vietnam (25.8% of political representation consists of women) as compared to Singapore (where 24.5% of political representation is women). This is an indicator of a fast maturing political regime in Vietnam.  It is also a pointer to the slightly darker side in Singapore, where politics is not as open as in Vietnam. This, however, does not reduce the role that the political class in Singapore has played in propelling their country to unimaginable economic heights. The performance of Vietnam in terms of having more female political representatives is also an indicator of the enviable literacy rate in the country (at 90.3%) even though this trails that of Singapore to some extent (at 92.5%).




Having borne the brunt of intensive military catastrophes of the last century, the Vietnamese have the tendency of reaching and achieving goals together. They value communal well being and belonging. A Vietnamese will most likely come to your rescue if you are a foreigner and you are in need. This, of course, may largely exclude Americans who, until the recent past, were viewed suspiciously by the military regimes in Vietnam as having been the villains and perpetrators of the woes of the Vietnamese people.  They are likely to be more inclusive and friendly to each other more than the Singaporeans. These are social beings.


When compared to Singapore, the only obvious and noticeable level of interaction is limited to men and women of similar ethnic groups. Granted, this can be attributed to the largely segmented population of Singapore with different clusters of ethnic groups such as the Chinese and the Malays. Singaporeans are, on the other hand, people with specialized trainings and will spend a huge chunk of their time engaged in their areas of specialization. Being a highly industrialized nation, people have little time for gatherings and other activities that may suggest communal belonging.




In conclusion, therefore, the two countries offer a stark contradiction of what can happen to two neighboring nations when given only the resource of time in addition to what is naturally available. Whilst Vietnam is larger, with a larger population and far more natural resources, it still can not come near the superior economy and life that the Singaporeans have built for themselves in just a couple of decades. Undeniably, with the right blend of efforts, Vietnam can catch up with Singapore. In the considered opinion of the current situation, however, that may never be in our time.


Commendably, Vietnam has recently begun inculcating female leadership and representation in their politics. This may contribute to significant improvements in leadership, weigh down on corruption, reduce the sickening government bureaucracy in its systems and spur some verifiable economic growth. With their hospitable and friendly nature, the Vietnamese can be eventually be pivotal in resolving some of the longest living feuds haunting Asian nations by cultivating values in addition national interests in  their dealings.