According to the latest census conducted by the Hanoi police agency, the cityâ€™s population numbered 3.4 million at the end of 2007, not 4.5 to 5 million as forecasted.
Hanoi's population is constantly growing (about 3,5% per year ), a reflection of the fact that the city is both a major metropolitan area of Northern Vietnam, and also the country's political centre. This population growth also puts a lot of pressure onto the infrastructure, some of which is antiquated and dates back from the early 20th century.
The number of Hanoians who settled down for more than three generations is likely to be very small as compared to the overall population of the city. Even in the Old Quarter, where commerce started hundreds years ago and was mostly a family business, many of the street-front stores nowadays are owned by merchants and retailers from other provinces. The original owner family may have either rented out the store and moved to live further inside the house, or just moved out of the neighbourhood altogether. The pace of change has especially escalated after the abandonment of central-planing economic policies, and relaxing of the district-based household registrar system.
On May 29 2008, Hanoi was decided that Ha Tay province, Vinh Phuc's Me Linh district and 3 communes of Luong Son district, Hoa Binh is merged into the metropolitan area of Hanoi from August 1 2008. Hanoi's total area will be increased three times to 334,470 hectares divided into 29 subdivisions and the new population is 6,2 million.