News / USA

    Study: US Vietnamese Tend to Live in Separate Communities

    FILE - A group of Vietnamese Americans eat lunch at the Asian Garden mall in the Little Saigon section of Westminster, California.
    FILE - A group of Vietnamese Americans eat lunch at the Asian Garden mall in the Little Saigon section of Westminster, California.
    Vietnamese Americans are as segregated as African Americans, and there has been little change in the trend in the last two decades, according to research by Brown University about the six main Asian groups in the United States.

    Census data from 1990, 2000 and 2010 were used to assess the social and economic integration of Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese Americans into the local communities of their adopted land.

    In an interview with the VOA Vietnamese Service, John Logan, professor of sociology at Brown University, said it is true that Vietnamese Americans are segregated from whites like most Asian nationalities, except the Japanese.

    “On average, across the country, they are almost as segregated from non-Hispanic whites as are African Americans. That’s a surprise because we think of Asians as being much more spatially integrated into communities,” Logan said.

    “There are two kinds of sources of this separation. One is presumably that there’s a lot of choice going on, that Vietnamese are choosing, for example, a good place to live in a residential enclave that’s really very Vietnamese. And so the choice to have a better life, in some respects, to support your culture – that’s got to be a big factor. The other factor simply is that in fact there are a lot of Vietnamese who don’t have as many choices about where to live, and they need to live in a community that they can afford and for many immigrants that means living in an immigrant community with cheaper housing, and possibly getting help in finding a low skill job from other people in the community.”

    Logan said the Vietnamese are one of the largest minority groups in the United States, and in the last 10 years, there was a growth of about 60 percent to 70 percent in the number of Vietnamese in the country.

    In comparison with other Asian groups in the research, Vietnamese Americans had the highest rate of poverty and receipt of public assistance.

    The influx of Vietnamese refugees into the United States after the Vietnam War is one factor explaining why they are more economically disadvantaged than other groups.

    “Compared to other Asian groups, I would say what is relevant to know, is that Vietnamese on average have lower education, lower income and higher likelihood of being unemployed than other Asian groups,” Logan said. “They’re actually doing pretty well compared to Hispanics or African Americans in the United States. But if you compare them to Filipinos, or Koreans or Chinese, they are not doing nearly as well”.

    Logan also noted that there exists great diversity in any ethnic group, and that there are people in the Vietnamese community who are extremely successful.

    Many Vietnamese immigrated in the United States as refugees and were unable to reestablish their pre-immigration economic position, the report says.

    Professor Nguyen Ngoc Bich, chairman of National Congress of Vietnamese in the United States, echoes that view, saying Vietnamese refugees have faced a lot of hurdles, both financially and spiritually, before they settled down in a new country.

    “Indian and Chinese Americans are immigrants who saved for their trip to the United State,” he said.  “Meanwhile, a majority of Vietnamese came to the United States as refugees and without much money.”

    “Therefore, they had to rely on each other to survive, as it was difficult for them to borrow from the bank. They had nothing to make a deposit. Vietnamese overcame a lot of difficulties when they first came here”.

    Bich, however, said the segregation of Vietnamese should not be overgeneralized, as many people coming from Vietnam are living in different parts of the United States and among local white communities.

    Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled Vietnam for the U.S. after the Vietnam War, and many of them took risky trips by boat.

    There are millions of Vietnamese Americans living in the U.S., making them the largest overseas Vietnamese community in the world.

    This story also appears on VOA's Vietnamese site.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Christopher Airriess from: Muncie IN
    July 28, 2013 6:16 PM
    Statements were made with regard to Vietnamese socioeconomic attainment when compared to other Asian American groups that were not correct. Cambodian. Lao, and Hmong possesses lower educational attainment in addition to other variables such as income, unemployment and pubic assistance. I understand the qualifier of "in the research." Perhaps the qualifier of "major" Asian groups would be more appropriate.

    by: Fan Tan Mee from: San Jose
    July 12, 2013 9:17 PM
    Most Vietnamese living in the USA have been political refugees
    who fled the Communist VN with empty hands. Surely, it has been very hard for them to rebuild their lives as easily as other
    Asian groups who came to the USA as economic migrants and
    possessed lot of money when they first arrived here.

    A little story. In an American Literature class, a US student raised a question," Why are there so few VN students to study
    literature?" An answer: Young Vietnamese had crossed a period of very harsh war, they did not have much time for
    schooling. Now coming to the new land, they practically thought
    of survival rather than lavish literature, at least for the moment.



    In Response

    by: Andy from: Sac
    July 18, 2013 8:56 PM
    In respond to Theresa,
    What you express is partially true, but not the whole truth, so help me gods.
    For Vietnamese American with college degree it takes them 10-25 years to get out of poverty. Wow it takes me 13 years to enter midle class starting from ground zero.
    But in Orange County the majority of Vietnamese are poor after 35 years in the USA. This study speaks 80% accurate in comparison to other Asian groups that took 5-15 years to get out of poverty. Of course the Japanese is already rich when step on the USA soil.
    In Response

    by: Theresa
    July 12, 2013 10:28 PM
    A lot of them own nail, hair, restaurant...cash business. They did not report their income. In turn, they applied for social welfare while they are very well to do. Used to live among people like that. They were so well off in reality but on the paper, whey were poor. Hate that! Had to use past tense because I moved away my community and do not know if that is still the case now.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.