Do inequalities exist in housing and working conditions among local and migrant industrial workers in Vietnam? Results from a multi-site survey

Ha Ngoc Do, Milkie Vu, Anh Tuan Nguyen, Hoa Quynh Thi Nguyen, Thanh Phuong Bui, Quy Van Nguyen, Ngan Thu Thi Tran, Ly Bac Thi La, Nga Thu Thi Nguyen, Quang N. Nguyen, Hai Thanh Phan, Men Thi Hoang, Linh Gia Vu, Thuc Minh Thi Vu, Bach Xuan Tran, Carl A. Latkin, Cyrus S.H. Ho, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: While internal migrants in Vietnam have been a key driving force in the country's rapid economic development, they also face many vulnerabilities. Our study seeks to explore possible inequalities in housing and working conditions between local and internal migrant industrial workers in Vietnam. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys were conducted with 1200 industrial workers in four regions of Vietnam. Dependent variables included housing conditions (satisfaction with convenience of accommodation, sanitation and water of accommodation, and accommodation in general) and working conditions (satisfaction with income, monthly income, number of hazardous working conditions, and work-related stress measured through the modified Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire). The primary independent variable is migrant status. Covariates included region, gender, education, marital status, accommodation status, living arrangements, industry, age, monthly income, experience, and working hours. Results: Of the sample, 24.7% (n = 296) were migrants. Overall, no differences were found regarding housing conditions by migrant status. In adjusted regression models, migrants reported higher numbers of hazardous working conditions (β = 0.07, 95 %CI = 0.01–0.13, p = 0.01) and higher monthly income (β = 0.05, 95 %CI = 0.01–0.09, p = 0.02). Discussion: Recent state-level changes in the Vietnamese household registration system may explain the lack of differences in housing conditions by migrant status. Future research should utilize longitudinal designs to examine impacts over time of state policy on migrants’ housing conditions as well as well-being. Regarding working conditions, findings highlight the need for stronger social protection policy and better information channels on occupational health and safety for migrants. Further research, including qualitative studies, is needed to explore why migrants face more hazardous working conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105400
JournalSafety Science
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Housing conditions
  • Internal migration
  • Social determinants of health
  • Vietnam
  • Working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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