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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs