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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid