Vietnam, which has moved from a low-income to a middle-income country over the past decade, has experienced an increase in Caesarean section rates in parallel with its urbanization. The proportion of women undergoing C-sections has increased almost sevenfold in 17 years, from 3.4% in 1997 to 27.5% in 2013-14.

Nevertheless, this development is characterised by strong regional disparities. Indeed, while rural areas have reached a rate of 21%, 43% of pregnant women in urban areas, which are increasingly populated, give birth with a caesarean section. This difference is not unique to Vietnam, but these rates remain high compared to other developing countries.

Source: Magnitude and correlates of caesarean section in urban and rural areas: A multivariate study in Vietnam (De Loenzien et al.).