The figure exceeds the previous forecast that the city would grow to 7 million by 2010. The high growth is attributed to migrants from other provinces flocking to the city.

The city has 100 females for every 93 males, also indicating that more women than men are migrating to the cities.

On average, 3,400 people live on one square kilometer of land in the city. The population density in the inner districts is five times higher than that of the suburban districts, with the most populous being Binh Tan District and the least - Can Gio District.

Do Thuc, deputy head of the General Statistics Office, said HCMC’s population may reach 10 million within the next 10 years and will be out of control in case “no proper policies” are implemented to curb the growth.

Nguyen Van Quang of the city’s Development Studies Institute said loose policies on residence and land use were the main factors behind the rising population, which is generating big pressure on the city’s transportation network and infrastructure systems such as schools and hospitals.

Nguyen Thanh Tai, deputy chairman of HCMC People’s Committee, said the city will propose “adjustments” in residence policies to deal with the problem.

Tuoi Tre - October 26, 2009