0.8% of the U.S. population (2017)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Vietnamese, American English, French (older generations), Chinese (Cantonese, Teochew, Mandarin, Hokkien), Hmong|
|43% Buddhism |
30% Roman Catholicism
|Related ethnic groups|
|Vietnamese people, Overseas Vietnamese, Vietnamese Canadians, Vietnamese Australians, Asian Americans, Chinese Americans, Hmong Americans|
Vietnamese Americans (Vietnamese : Người Mỹ gốc Việt) are Americans of Vietnamese descent. They make up about half of all overseas Vietnamese (Vietnamese : Người Việt hải ngoại) and are the fourth-largest Asian American ethnic group after Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, and Indian Americans, and have developed distinctive characteristics in the United States.
Vietnamese is an Austroasiatic language that originated in Vietnam, where it is the national and official language. It is the native language of the Vietnamese (Kinh) people, as well as a first or second language for the many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. As a result of Vietnamese emigration and cultural influence, Vietnamese speakers are found throughout the world, notably in East and Southeast Asia, North America, Australia and Western Europe. Vietnamese has also been officially recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
The Vietnamese people or the Kinh people, are an ethnic group originating from present-day northern Vietnam. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population at the 1999 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam. The earliest recorded name for the ancient Vietnamese people appears as Lạc.
South Vietnamese immigration to the United States began after the Vietnam War ended in 1975. Early immigrants were refugee boat people, fleeing persecution or seeking economic opportunities. More than half of Vietnamese Americans reside in the states of California and Texas.
The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.
According. to U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income for Vietnamese Americans was $65,643 in 2017.As a relatively-recent immigrant group, most Vietnamese Americans are either first or second generation Americans. As many as one million people five years of age and older speak Vietnamese at home, making it the fifth-most-spoken language in the U.S. In the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS), 76 percent of foreign-born Vietnamese are naturalized U.S. citizens (compared to 67 percent of people from Southeast Asia and 46 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population). Of those born outside the United States, 73.1 percent entered before 2000, 21.2 percent from 2000 and 2009 and 5.7 percent after 2010.
The term "first-immigrant" refers to the very first immigrants or to the children of such an immigrant. The term second-generation consequently may refer to either the children or the grandchildren of such an immigrant. The terms are used interchangeably because of the ambiguity between them.
The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, educational attainment, income, language proficiency, migration, disability, employment, and housing characteristics. These data are used by many public-sector, private-sector, and not-for-profit stakeholders to allocate funding, track shifting demographics, plan for emergencies, and learn about local communities. Sent to approximately 295,000 addresses monthly, it is the largest household survey that the Census Bureau administers.
Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China and Japan, east of India, west of Papua New Guinea, and north of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean, and to the south by Australia and the Indian Ocean. The region is the only part of Asia that lies partly within the Southern Hemisphere, although the majority of it is in the Northern Hemisphere. In contemporary definition, Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions:
In 2017 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the total population of Vietnamese American was 2,104,217 (92.3% reporting one race, 7.0% reporting two races, 0.6% reporting three races, and 0.1% reporting four or more races). [ citation needed ]California and Texas had the highest concentrations of Vietnamese Americans: 40 and 12 percent, respectively. Other states with concentrations of Vietnamese Americans were Washington, Florida (four percent each) and Virginia (three percent). The largest number of Vietnamese outside Vietnam is in Orange County, California (184,153, or 6.1 percent of the county's population), followed by Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties; the three counties accounted for 26 percent of the Vietnamese immigrant population in the United States. Many Vietnamese American businesses exist in the Little Saigon of Westminster and Garden Grove, where Vietnamese Americans make up 40.2 and 27.7 percent of the population respectively. About 41 percent of the Vietnamese immigrant population lives in five major metropolitan areas: in descending order, Los Angeles, San Jose, Houston, San Francisco and Dallas-Fort Worth. The Vietnamese immigration pattern has shifted to other states, including Denver, Boston, Chicago, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City and Tulsa in particular) and Oregon (Portland in particular).
Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first president of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle.
Orange County is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232, making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and more populous than 21 U.S. states. Its county seat is Santa Ana. It is the second most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. The county's four largest cities by population, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, and Huntington Beach, each have a population exceeding 200,000. Several of Orange County's cities are on the Pacific Ocean western coast, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente.
Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the U.S. state of California, is the most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2018. As such, it is the largest non–state level government entity in the United States. Its population is larger than that of 41 individual U.S. states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a Nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of Belgium, Norway, and Taiwan. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles (10,570 km2), it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U.S. Its county seat, Los Angeles, is also California's most populous city and the nation's second largest city with about 4 million people.
Vietnamese Americans are more likely to be Christians than the Vietnamese in Vietnam. Christians (mainly Roman Catholics) make up about six percent of Vietnam's population and about 23 percent of the Vietnamese American population.Due to hostility between Communists and Catholics in Vietnam, many Catholics fled the country after the Communist takeover, and many Catholic Churches had sponsored them to America.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.
The history of Vietnamese Americans is fairly recent. Before 1975, most Vietnamese residing in the US were the wives and children of American servicemen or academics. Recordsindicate that a few Vietnamese (including Ho Chi Minh) arrived and performed menial work during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 650 Vietnamese arrived as immigrants between 1950 and 1974, but the figure excludes students, diplomats, and military trainees. The April 30, 1975 fall of Saigon, which ended the Vietnam War, prompted the first large-scale wave of immigration; many with close ties to America or the government South Vietnam government feared communist reprisals. Most of the first-wave immigrants were well-educated, financially comfortable, and proficient in English. According to 1975 US State Department data, more than 30 percent of the heads of first-wave households were medical professionals or technical managers, 16.9 percent worked in transportation, and 11.7 percent had clerical or sales jobs in Vietnam. Less than 5 percent were fishermen or farmers.
Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành,Nguyễn Ái Quốc, Bác Hồ or simply Bác ("Uncle"), was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam. He was also Prime Minister (1945–1955) and President (1945–1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 at the Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi as well as the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor from 1933 to 1940 and the U.S. Department of Justice from 1940 to 2003.
The Fall of Saigon, or the Liberation of Saigon, was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the Viet Cong on 30 April 1975. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War and the start of a transition period to the formal reunification of Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The evacuation of the immigrants was organized in three major ways. The week before Saigon fell, 15,000 people left on scheduled flights followed by an additional 80,000 also evacuated by air. The last group was carried on U.S. Navy ships.During the spring of 1975 125,000 people left South Vietnam, followed by more than 5,000 in 1976-1977. They arrived at reception camps in the Philippines and Guam before being transferred to temporary housing at U.S. military bases, including Camp Pendleton (California), Fort Chaffee (Arkansas), Eglin Air Force Base (Florida) and Fort Indiantown Gap (Pennsylvania). After preparations for resettlement, they were assigned to one of nine voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) to help them find financial and personal support from sponsors in the U.S.
South Vietnamese refugees were initially resented by Americans, since the memory of defeat was fresh; according to a 1975 poll, only 36 percent of Americans favored Vietnamese immigration. However, the U.S. government informed public opinion as it felt that it had a moral obligation to the refugees, and President Gerald Ford and Congress both agreed to pass the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act in 1975, which allowed Vietnamese refugees to enter the United States under a special status and allocated $405 million in resettlement aid. To prevent the refugees from forming ethnic enclaves and minimize their impact on local communities, they were distributed throughout the country, but within a few years, many resettled in California and Texas.
A second wave of Vietnamese refugees arrived from 1978 to the mid-1980s. Political and economic instability under the new communist government led to a migration unprecedented in Vietnam. South Vietnamese, particularly former military officers and government employees, were sent to "re-education camps," which were really concentration camps, for intensive political indoctrination. Famine was widespread, and businesses were seized and nationalized. Chinese-Vietnamese relations soured when China became Vietnam's adversary in the brief Sino-Vietnamese War.To escape, many South Vietnamese fled on small, unsafe, crowded fishing boats. Over 70 percent of the first immigrants were from urban areas, but the "boat people" were generally lower socioeconomically, as most were peasant farmers or fishermen, small-town merchants or former military officials. Survivors were picked up by foreign ships and brought to asylum camps in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines from which they entered countries that agreed to accept them.
The plight of the boat people compelled the US to act, and the Refugee Act of 1980 eased restrictions on the entry of Vietnamese refugees. From 1978 to 1982, 280,500 Vietnamese refugees were admittedIn 1979, the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) was established under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to allow emigration from Vietnam to the US and other countries. Additional legislation permitted Amerasian children and former political prisoners and their families to enter the US. Vietnamese immigration peaked in 1992, when many re-education-camp inmates were released and sponsored by their families in the US. Between 1981 and 2000, the country accepted 531,310 Vietnamese political refugees and asylum-seekers.
By the early 1980s, a secondary resettlement was underway. Vietnamese refugees were initially scattered throughout the country in wherever they could find sponsorship. The majority (27,199) settled in California, followed by 9,130 in Texas and 3,500 to 7,000 each in Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, Illinois, New York, and Louisiana. Economic and social factors, many then moved to warmer states, such as California and Texas, with larger Vietnamese communities, better jobs, and social safety nets.
Though Vietnamese immigration has continued at a fairly steady pace since the 1980s, the pathway to immigration for Vietnamese today has shifted entirely. As opposed to the earlier history of Vietnamese migration that stemmed predominantly from refugees, an overwhelming majority of Vietnamese are now granted lawful permanent residence (LPR) on the basis of family sponsored preferences or by way of immediate relatives to U.S. citizens, at 53% and 44% respectively. This marks a complete about face, in 1982, 99% of Vietnamese that were granted LPR were refugees, while today that group compromises a mere 1% of the Vietnamese population.
After suffering war and psychological trauma, Vietnamese immigrants had to adapt to a very different culture. Language was the first barrier Vietnamese refugees with limited English proficiency had to overcome. English uses tonal inflection sparingly (primarily for questions); Vietnamese, a tonal language, uses variations in tone to differentiate between meanings of a sound. Ma can have one of six meanings, depending on tone: "ghost", "but", "code", "rice plant", "cheek" or "tomb".Another difference between Vietnamese and English is the former's widespread use of status-related pronouns. "You" is the only second-person singular pronoun in English, but the Vietnamese second-person singular pronoun varies by gender (anh or chị), social status (ông or bà) and relationship (bạn, cậu or mày).
Like other Asians, the Vietnamese emphasize parental status; however, American culture challenges this traditional value. Vietnamese American parents have expressed concern about decreasing authority over their children. Part of this concern is due to cultural differences; although corporal punishment is accepted in Vietnamese society as an effective way of educating children.Older, newly arrived Vietnamese Americans are polite in dealing with others and avoid expressing open disagreement; young Vietnamese-American straightforwardness of expression may be perceived as disrespectful by their elders.
Emotional health was considered an issue common to many Vietnamese refugees, with war-related loss and the stress of adapting to a different culture leading to mental-health problems among refugees.The problems covered a broad spectrum, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, adjustment disorder, somatization, panic attacks, schizophrenia and generalized anxiety. About 40 percent of the children of resettled refugees experienced an increase in conduct and oppositional defiant disorders. A 2000 study by Chung et al. demonstrated a number of mental-health issues. The study examined the psychosocial adjustment of two groups of Vietnamese refugees who migrated to the U.S. as young children. Its participants were given the Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale, the Social Support Questionnaire and the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist. The three surveys accounted for cultural assimilation; how closely an individual related to their culture of origin relative to American culture, and individual placement on scales for generalized anxiety and depression respectively. Chung separated the groups into first- and second-wave refugees; first-wave Southeast Asian refugees (SEAR) were defined as arriving in the U.S. between 1971 and 1975, and second-wave SEAR arrived between 1980 and 1985. In wave two, six percent of those tested by Chung et al. were under age six when they arrived in the U.S.; in wave one, about 85 percent of the pediatric refugees were under six. The study indicated that the young refugees experienced significant short- and long-term emotional and mental distress throughout their lives.
Vietnamese Americans' income and social classes are diverse. In contrast to Vietnamese refugees who settled in France or Germany, and similar to their counterparts who arrived in Canada, The Czech Republic, The United Kingdom and Australia, refugees arriving in the United States often had a lower socioeconomic standing in their home country and more difficulty integrating due to greater linguistic and cultural barriers.
Vietnamese Americans have arrived in the U.S. primarily as refugees, with little or no money. While not as academically or financially accomplished collectively as their East Asian counterparts, census data indicates that Vietnamese Americans are an upwardly-mobile group; their economic status improved substantially between 1989 and 1999.
Most first-wave Vietnamese immigrants initially worked at low-paying jobs in small services or industries.Finding work was more difficult for second-wave and subsequent immigrants, due to their limited educational background and job skills. They were employed in blue-collar jobs, such as electrical engineering and machine assembling. In San Jose, California, the economic difference can be seen in the Vietnamese-American neighborhoods of Santa Clara County. In downtown San Jose, many Vietnamese work as restaurant cooks, repairmen and movers. The Evergreen and Berryessa sections of the city are middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhoods with large Vietnamese-American populations, many of whom work in Silicon Valley's computer, networking and aerospace industries.
Many Vietnamese Americans have established businesses in Little Saigons and Chinatowns throughout North America, and have initiated the development and revitalization of older Chinatowns. Many Vietnamese Americans are small business owners. According to a 2002 Census Bureau survey of Vietnamese-owned firms, more than 50 percent of the businesses are personal services or repair and maintenance. The period from 1997 to 2002 saw substantial growth in the number of Vietnamese-owned business.Throughout the country, many Vietnamese (especially first or second-generation immigrants) have opened supermarkets, restaurants, bánh mì bakeries, beauty salons, barber shops and auto-repair businesses. Restaurants owned by Vietnamese Americans tend to serve Vietnamese cuisine, Vietnamized Chinese cuisine or both, and have popularized phở and chả giò in the U.S. In 2002 34.2 percent of Vietnamese-owned businesses were in California, followed by Texas with 16.5 percent.
Young Vietnamese Americans adults are well educated, and often provide professional services. Since older Vietnamese Americans have difficulty interacting with the non-Vietnamese professional class, many Vietnamese Americans provide specialized professional services to fellow immigrants. Of these, a small number are owned by Vietnamese Americans of Hoa ethnicity. In the Gulf Coast region (Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama), Vietnamese Americans are involved with the fishing industry and account for 45 to 85 percent of the region's shrimp business. However, the dumping of imported shrimp from Vietnam has impacted their livelihood.Many remain employed in Silicon Valley's computer and networking industry, despite layoffs following the closure of various high-tech companies. Recent immigrants not yet proficient in English work in assembly, restaurants, shops and nail and hair salons. Eighty percent of California's nail technicians and 43 percent nationwide are Vietnamese Americans. Nail-salon work is skilled manual labor which requires limited English-speaking ability. Some Vietnamese Americans see the work as a way to accumulate wealth quickly, and many send remittances to family members in Vietnam. Vietnamese entrepreneurs from Britain and Canada have adopted the U.S. model and opened nail salons in the United Kingdom, where few had existed.
According to a 2008 Manhattan Institute study, Vietnamese Americans are among the most-assimilated immigrant groups in the United States.Although their rates of cultural and economic assimilation were comparable to other groups (perhaps due to language differences between English and Vietnamese), their rates of civic assimilation were the highest of the large immigrant groups. As political refugees, Vietnamese Americans viewed their stay in the United States as permanent and became involved in the political process at a higher rate than other groups. Vietnamese Americans have the highest rate of naturalization among all immigrant groups: in 2015, 86% of Vietnamese immigrants in the United States who were eligible for citizenship already became citizens.
"Socialization processes due to unique experiences during a critical imprinting experience among Vietnamese immigrants form an explanation that relies on duration of time spent in the United States. Immigrant cohorts, as instantiated in waves of immigration, are of course related to years spent in the destination country ..." However, there are "substantive within-group differences among Vietnamese Americans and that the classical linear assimilation hypothesis does not adequately explain political incorporation. Although naturalization does appear to increase steadily over time, with earlier waves more likely to have acquired citizenship, the same pattern of associations does not appear for our analysis of registration and voting. Notably, it was the third wave of Vietnamese immigrants who were most likely to cast ballots in the last presidential election".
The relationship between Vietnam and the United States has been the most important issue for most Vietnamese Americans.As refugees from a communist country, many are strongly opposed to communism. In a 2000 Orange County Register poll, 71 percent of respondents ranked fighting communism as a "top priority" or "very important". Vietnamese Americans stage protests against the Vietnamese government, its human rights policy and those whom they perceive to be sympathetic to it. In 1999, opposition to a video-store owner in Westminster, California who displayed the flag of Vietnam and a photo of Ho Chi Minh peaked when 15,000 people held a nighttime vigil in front of the store; this raised free speech issues. Although few Vietnamese Americans enrolled in the Democratic Party because it was seen as more sympathetic to communism than the Republican Party, Republican support has eroded in the second generation and among newer, poorer refugees. However, the Republican Party still has strong support; in Orange County, Vietnamese Americans registered as Republicans outnumber registered Democrats (55 and 22 percent, respectively). According to the 2008 National Asian American Survey, 22 percent identified with the Democratic Party and 29 percent with the Republican Party. Exit polls during the 2004 presidential election indicated that 72 percent of Vietnamese American voters in eight eastern states polled voted for Republican incumbent George W. Bush, compared to the 28 percent voting for Democratic challenger John Kerry. In a poll conducted before the 2008 presidential election, two-thirds of Vietnamese Americans who had decided said that they would vote for Republican candidate John McCain. The party's vocal anti-communism is attractive to older and first-generation Vietnamese Americans who arrived during the Reagan administration. Although most Vietnamese overall are registered Republicans, most young Vietnamese lean toward the Democratic Party. An Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) poll found that Vietnamese Americans aged 18–29 favored Democrat Barack Obama by 60 percentage points during the 2008 presidential election. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, 47 percent of registered Vietnamese-American voters leaned Republican and 32 percent Democratic; among Vietnamese Americans overall (including non-registered voters), 36 percent leaned Democratic and 35 percent Republican.
Vietnamese Americans have exercised political power in Orange County, Silicon Valley and other areas, and have attained public office at the local and statewide levels in California and Texas. Janet Nguyen is a member of the California State Senate; Andrew Do is part of the five-member Orange County Board of Supervisors; Bao Nguyen was mayor of Garden Grove, California, and Vietnamese Americans have also been the mayors of Rosemead and Westminster, California. Several serve (or have served) on the city councils of Westminster,Garden Grove and San Jose, California, and Hubert Vo is a member of the Texas state legislature.
In 2008, Westminster became the first city with a majority Vietnamese-American city council.In 2004, Van Tran was elected to the California state legislature. Viet Dinh was the Assistant Attorney General of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and the chief architect of the Patriot Act. In 2006, 15 Vietnamese Americans were running for elective office in California. In August 2014, Fort Hood Col. Viet Xuan Luong became the first Vietnamese-American general in U.S. history. Four Vietnamese Americans have run for a seat in the United States House of Representatives as their party's endorsed candidate.
Some Vietnamese Americans have lobbied city and state governments to make the flag of South Vietnam (rather than the flag of Vietnam) the symbol of the Vietnamese in the United States, and objections were raised by the Vietnamese government.The California and Ohio state governments enacted laws adopting the South Vietnamese flag in August 2006. Since June 2002, 13 states, seven counties and 85 cities had adopted resolutions recognizing the South Vietnamese flag as the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag.
During the months following Hurricane Katrina, the Vietnamese-American community in New Orleans (among the first to return to the city) rallied against a landfill used to dump debris near their community.After months of legal wrangling, the landfill was closed. In 2008, Katrina activist Anh "Joseph" Cao won Louisiana's 2nd congressional district seat in the House of Representatives; Cao was the first Vietnamese American elected to Congress.
According to U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017 the median household income for Vietnamese Americans was $65,643compared to $$61,372 for the overall U.S. population.
In 2017, 10.6 percent of Vietnamese Americans lived under the poverty line, lower than the poverty rate for all Americans at 12.3% percent.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports in 2016 among working Vietnamese Americans (civilian employed population 16 years and over): 32.9% had management, business, science, and arts occupations; 30.9% had service occupations; 17.0% had sales and office occupations, 4.3% had reported natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations; and 15% had natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
Though Vietnamese immigration has continued at a fairly steady pace since the 1980s, the pathway to immigration for Vietnamese today has shifted entirely. As opposed to the earlier history of Vietnamese migration that stemmed predominantly from refugees, an overwhelming majority of Vietnamese are now granted LPR on the basis of family sponsored preferences or by way of immediate relatives to U.S. citizens, at 53% and 44% respectively. This marks a complete about face, in 1982, 99% of Vietnamese that were granted LPR were refugees, while today that group compromises a mere 1% of the Vietnamese population.
In 2017, 31.2% of Vietnamese Americans had attained a bachelor's degree or higher.
In 2017, 51% of Vietnamese in the U.S. reported as being English proficient.
The Vietnamese parents consider children's educational achievements a source of pride for the family, encouraging their children to excel in school and to enter professional fields as the ticket to a better life. Vietnam's traditional Confucianist society values education and learning, and many Vietnamese Americans have worked their way up from menial labor to have their second-generation children attend college and become successful. Compared to other Asian immigrant groups, Vietnamese Americans are optimistic about their children's future; forty-eight percent believe that their children's standard of living will be better than theirs.
A number of colleges have a Vietnamese Student Association, and an annual conference is hosted by the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations for current or future members.
While adapting to a new country, Vietnamese Americans have tried to preserve their traditional culture by teaching their children the Vietnamese language, wearing traditional dress ( áo dài ) for special occasions and showcasing their cuisine in restaurants throughout the country. Family loyalty is the most important Vietnamese cultural characteristic, and more than two generations traditionally lived under one roof. The Vietnamese view a family as including maternal and paternal grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. In adapting to American culture, most Vietnamese American families have adopted the nuclear pattern while trying to maintain close ties with their extended families.
Vietnamese family culture is reflected in veneration of the dead. On the anniversary of an ancestor's death (ngày giỗ), relatives gather for a festive meal and to share stories about the person's children, works or community.In a typical Vietnamese family, parents see themselves with a vital role in their children's lives; according to a survey, 71 percent of Vietnamese-American parents said that being a good parent is one of the most important things in their lives. Generations of Vietnamese were taught to help their families without question, and many Vietnamese Americans send American goods and money and sponsor relatives' trips or immigration to the U.S. In 2013, remittances sent to Vietnam via formal channels totaled $11 billion, a tenfold increase from the late 1990s.
Vietnamese Americans observe holidays based on their lunisolar calendar, with Tết Nguyên Đán (commonly known as Tết) the most important. Falling in late January or early February, Tết marks the lunar new year. Although the full holiday lasts for seven days, the first three days are celebrated with visits to relatives, teachers and friends. For Tết, the Vietnamese commemorate their ancestors with memorial feasts (including traditional foods such as square and round sticky-rice cakes: bánh chưng and bánh giầy ) and visits to their ancestors' graves.For Vietnamese Americans, the celebration of Tết is simpler. In California, Texas and other states with substantial Vietnamese communities, Vietnamese Americans celebrate Tết by visiting their relatives and friends, watching community-sponsored dragon dances and visiting temples or churches.
Tết Trung Nguyên (Wandering Souls' Day, on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month) and Tết Trung Thu (Children's Day or the Mid-Autumn Festival, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month) are also celebrated by many Vietnamese Americans. For Tết Trung Nguyên, food, money and clothes made of special paper are prepared to worship the wandering souls of ancestors. Along with Tết Nguyên Đán, Tết Trung Thu is a favorite children's holiday; children holding colorful lanterns form a procession and follow a parade of lion dances and drums.
Forty-three percent of Vietnamese Americans are Buddhist.Many practice Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and animist practices (including ancestor veneration) influenced by Chinese folk religion. Twenty-nine to forty percent of Vietnamese Americans are Roman Catholic, a legacy of Operation Passage to Freedom. A smaller number are Protestants.
There are 150 to 165 Vietnamese Buddhist temples in the United States, with most observing a mixture of Pure Land (Tịnh Độ Tông) and Zen (Thiền) doctrines and practices.Most temples are small, consisting of a converted house with one or two resident monks or nuns. Two of the most prominent figures in Vietnamese-American Buddhism are Thich Thien-An and Thich Nhat Hanh.
Like with other ethnic-minority groups, Vietnamese Americans have come into conflict with the broader US population. Gulf Coast fishermen complained about unfair competition from their Vietnamese-American counterparts, and the Ku Klux Klan attempted to intimidate Vietnamese-American shrimp fishermen.The Vietnamese Fishermen's Association, with the aid of the Southern Poverty Law Center, won a 1981 antitrust suit against the Klan.
Min Zhou (professor of sociology and Asian American studies at the University of California) and Carl Bankston (assistant professor of sociology at the University of Southwestern Louisiana) researched and insights from many sources, including the U.S. census, survey data, and their own observations and in-depth interviews. Focusing on the Versailles Village enclave in New Orleans, one of many newly established Vietnamese communities in the United States, the authors examine the complex of family, community, and school influences that shape these children's lives.had a "valedictorian / delinquent" susceptibility of Vietnamese-American youth. Vietnamese-American communities have dense, organized social ties, which encourage and socially control children.
The communities were often in economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods, on the margins of American society. Vietnamese children who maintained close connections to their communities are often driven to succeed, but others often fell into delinquency.The 2016 U.S. Census may be an indicator, however, that Vietnamese children are achieving more academic success with 37% of U.S. born Vietnamese having attained a bachelor's degree.
Although census data counts those who identify as ethnically Vietnamese, how Vietnamese ethnic groups view themselves may affect that reporting.
The Hoa people are ethnic Chinese who migrated to Vietnam. In 2013, they made up 11.5 percent of the Vietnamese-American population. Some Hoa Vietnamese Americans also speak a dialect of Yue Chinese, generally code-switching between Cantonese and Vietnamese to speak to both Hoa immigrants from Vietnam and ethnic Vietnamese. Teochew, a variety of Southern Min which had virtually no speakers in the US before the 1980s, is spoken by another group of Hoa immigrants. A small number of Vietnamese Americans may also speak Mandarin as a third (or fourth) language in business and other interaction.
Some Vietnamese Americans are Eurasians: people of European and Asian descent. They are descendants of ethnic Vietnamese and French settlers and soldiers (and sometimes Hoa) during the French colonial period (1883–1945) or the First Indochina War (1946–1954).
Amerasians are descendants of an ethnic Vietnamese (or Hoa) parent and an American parent, most commonly white or black. The first substantial generation of Amerasian Vietnamese Americans were born to American personnel, primarily military men, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1975. Many Amerasians were ignored by their American parent; in Vietnam, the fatherless children of foreign men were called con lai ("mixed race") or the pejorative bụi đời ("dust of life").Since 1982, Amerasians and their families have come to the United States under the Orderly Departure Program. Many could not be reunited with their fathers, and commonly arrived with their mothers. In some cases, they were part of false families that were created to escape from Vietnam. Many of the first-generation Amerasians and their mothers experienced significant social and institutional discrimination in Vietnam, where they were denied the right to education; discrimination worsening after the 1973 American withdrawal, and by the U.S. government, which discouraged American military personnel from marrying Vietnamese nationals and frequently refused claims of U.S. citizenship that were lodged by Amerasians born in Vietnam if their mothers were not married to their American fathers.
Discrimination was even greater for children of black servicemen than for children of white fathers.Subsequent generations of Amerasians (children born in the United States) and Vietnamese-born Amerasians whose American paternity was documented by their parents' marriage or their subsequent legitimization have had an arguably more favorable outlook.
The 1988 American Homecoming Act helped over 25,000 Amerasians and their 67,000 relatives in Vietnam, to emigrate to the United States. Although they received permanent-resident status, many have been unable to obtain citizenship and express a lack of belonging or acceptance in the US because of differences in culture, language and citizenship status.
Over a million Khmer and a large population of Cham are native to Vietnam, and some of them came to USA as refugees, however most of them now consider themselves part of much larger Cambodian American community.
An Amerasian originally meant a person born in Asia to an Asian mother and a U.S. military father. Most modern day Amerasian are either half or quarter American origin.
Little Saigon is a name given to ethnic enclaves of expatriate Vietnamese mainly in English-speaking countries. Alternate names include Little Vietnam and Little Hanoi, depending on the enclave's political history. Saigon is the former name of the capital of the former South Vietnam, where a large number of first-generation Vietnamese immigrants arriving to the United States originate, whereas Hanoi is the current capital of Vietnam.
A model minority is a demographic group whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than the population average. This success is typically measured relatively by income, education, low criminality and high family/marital stability.
Overseas Vietnamese refers to Vietnamese people living outside Vietnam in a diaspora, by far the largest community of which live in the United States. Of the about 4.5 million Overseas Vietnamese, a majority left Vietnam as economic and political refugees after the 1975 capture of Saigon and the North Vietnamese takeover of the pro-U.S. South Vietnam.
Cambodian Americans and Khmer Americans are Americans of Cambodian and Khmer ancestry, respectively. In addition, Cambodian Americans are also Americans with ancestry of other ethnic groups of Cambodia, such as the Cham and Khmer Loeu peoples.
Paris by Night is a direct-to-video series featuring Vietnamese-language musical variety shows produced by Thúy Nga Productions. Hosted mainly by Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn and Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên, the series includes musical performances by modern pop stars, traditional folk songs, one-act plays, and sketch comedy.
Burmese Americans are Americans of full or partial Burmese ancestry. The term encompasses people of all ethnic backgrounds with ancestry in present-day Myanmar, regardless of specific ethnicity. They are a subgroup of Asian Americans. The majority of Burmese Americans are of Burmese Chinese descent, particularly Teochew, Hokkien, and Yunnanese, rather than Bamar, the dominant ethnic group in Myanmar; they may alternatively identify as simply Chinese Americans. However, other types of Burmese ethnic groups immigrating to the U.S. have been on the rise in recent years.
Asian immigration to the United States refers to immigration to the United States from part of the continent of Asia, which including East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Asian-origin populations have historically been in the territory that would become the United States since the 16th century. A first major wave of Asian immigration occurred in the late 19th century, primarily in Hawaii and the West Coast. Asian Americans experienced exclusion, and limitations to immigration, by law from the United States between 1875 and 1965, and were largely prohibited from naturalization until the 1940s. Since the elimination of Asian exclusion laws and the reform of the immigration system in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, there has been a large increase in the number of immigrants to the United States from Asia.
Vietnamese Australians are Australians of Vietnamese ancestry, or people who migrated to Australia from Vietnam. Communities of overseas Vietnamese are referred to as Việt Kiều or người Việt hải ngoại.
The Vietnamese term bụi đời refers to vagrants in the city or, trẻ bụi đời to street children or juvenile gangs. From 1989, following a song in the musical Miss Saigon, "Bui-Doi" came to popularly refer to Amerasian children left behind in Vietnam after the Vietnam War.
The American Homecoming Act or Amerasian Homecoming Act, was an Act of Congress giving preferential immigration status to children in Vietnam born of U.S. fathers. The American Homecoming Act was written in 1987, passed in 1988, and implemented in 1989. The act increased Vietnamese Amerasian immigration to the U.S. because it allowed applicants to establish mixed race identity by appearance alone. Additionally, the American Homecoming Act allowed the Amerasian children and their immediate relatives to receive refugee benefits. About 23,000 Amerasians and 67,000 of their relatives entered the United States under this act. While the American Homecoming Act was the most successful program in moving Vietnamese Amerasian children to the United States, the act was not the first attempt by the U.S. government. Additionally the act experienced flaws and controversies over the refugees it did and did not include since the act only allowed Vietnamese Amerasian children, as opposed to other South East Asian nations in which the United States also had forces in the war.
Texas is the second most populous U.S. state, with an estimated 2017 population of 28.449 million. In recent decades, it has experienced strong population growth. Texas has many major cities and metropolitan areas, along with many towns and rural areas. Much of the population is in the major cities of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and El Paso.
The demographics of Asian Americans describe a heterogeneous group of people in the United States who trace their ancestry to one or more Asian countries.
The Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act, passed on May 23, 1975, under President Gerald Ford, was a response to the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. Under this act, approximately 130,000 refugees from South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were allowed to enter the United States under a special status, and the act allotted for special relocation aid and financial assistance.
The Vietnamese people in France consists of people of Vietnamese ancestry who were born in or immigrated to France. Their population was over 300,000 as of 2014.
Vietnamese boat people, also known simply as boat people, were refugees who fled Vietnam by boat and ship following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. This migration was at its highest in 1978 and 1979, but continued through the early 1990s. The term is also often used generically to refer to all the Vietnamese who left their country by any means between 1975 and 1995. This article uses boat people to apply only to those who fled Vietnam by boat.
This article discusses the history of Vietnamese Americans and Vietnamese immigrants in Houston, Texas, and its environs. Vietnamese immigration has occurred in Greater Houston, including Fort Bend County and Harris County, since 1975, after the Vietnam War ended and refugees began coming to the United States. The earlier groups of refugees to Harris County, consisting of politicians, highly educated professionals, and military officers, arrived in the 1970s. Subsequent groups arriving in the 1980s and 1990s had less education and fewer resources than the earlier group and were mostly refugees.
Little Saigon is the Vietnamese ethnic enclave in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, which served the large refugee population that immigrated after the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. One of many Little Saigons in the U.S., this neighborhood near Washington, D.C., became a hub of Vietnamese commerce and social activity, and reached its peak during the late 1970s to the early 1980s. The opening of the WMATA Clarendon Metro station led to new development, generating higher rents, and businesses closed or relocated, notably to the nearby Eden Center.
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