Vietnam remains a poor country, with most people earning about $1,000 a year, but it has made tremendous strides since opening its doors up to capitalism in the mid-1980s. Economic growth has averaged more than 7 percent annually over the past decade, and the rate of people living in poverty has dropped from 58 percent in 1993 to 11 percent last year.
It may also be true that the government of Vietnam is under-reporting poverty rates for propaganda purposes...but perhaps that is also true of the United States?
In the 2009 [ US Census's American Community Survey ], 14.3 percent of the U.S. population had income below their respective poverty thresholds. The number of people in poverty increased to 42.9 million.