Home Institution

University of Vermont

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development


Vietnam’s economy has grown extensively over the past twenty years; however, 68% of the population still lives in rural areas. The government of Vietnam has taken huge steps in the growth of rural infrastructure, specifically electricity. According to the World Bank 95% of the rural population had access to electricity as of 2010. This paper discusses how this electricity is being used in rural areas and whether the uses are aiding in the national growth of Vietnam. Productive uses, those which result in production of income, or value, are compared with solely economic uses. A case study comprised of surveys, and in depth interviews, in the Xẻo Trâm and Hòa Đức hamlets of Hòa An village, explore this concept further. Findings conclude that although electricity is being used productively, in most cases it is not being utilized economically. Data analysis revealed two main obstacles keeping rural villagers from using electricity economically. The first was lack of knowledge of potential electricity uses that would increase production of income. The second was affordability and sustainable affordability of electricity. Suggestions of rural electrification implementation programs which would promote economic uses in rural areas are shared in the conclusion.


Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Educational Sociology | Growth and Development | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Place and Environment | Regional Sociology | Rural Sociology | Sustainability


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