Vietnamese Americans (Vietnamese: Người Mỹ gốc Việt) are Americans who have ancestors who were originally Vietnamese. 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. There are 2.2 million people of Vietnamese descent residing in the U.S.
0.7% of the total U.S. population (2018)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Vietnamese, American English|
Chinese, French (older generations)
|Buddhist (43%) • Catholic (30%) |
Unaffiliated (20%) • Protestant (6%)
|Related ethnic groups|
|Vietnamese people, Overseas Vietnamese, Vietnamese Canadians, Vietnamese Australians, Asian Americans, Chinese Americans, Hmong Americans|
The Vietnamese community in the United States was very small until the South Vietnamese immigration to the country after the Vietnam War which ended in 1975. Early immigrants were refugee boat people, loyal to South Vietnam in the conflict who left political persecution or wanted better jobs. More than half of Vietnamese Americans reside in the two most populous states of California and Texas, mostly in their large urban areas.
In 2019, the median household income for all Vietnamese Americans was $69,800, compared to $85,800 for all Asian Americans. Divided by birth, the income was $82,400 for US-born and $66,000 for Vietnamese-Americans born in other countries.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports in 2016 among working Vietnamese Americans (citizen employed population 16 years and over): 32.9% had management, business, science, and arts jobs; 30.9% had service jobs; 17.0% had office jobs, 4.3% had natural resources, construction, and maintenance jobs; and 15% had natural resources, construction, and maintenance jobs.
Though Vietnamese immigration has continued at a fairly stable pace since the 1980s, the pathway to immigration for Vietnamese today has shifted entirely. As the opposite to the earlier history of Vietnamese migration that mostly came from refugees, an overwhelming majority of Vietnamese are now given LPR on the basis of family sponsored preferences or by way of close family to U.S. citizens, at 53% and 44% respectively.
In 2019, 55% of American born Vietnamese Americans had gotten a bachelor's degree or higher.
In 2019, 90% of US-born Vietnamese Americans were able to speak English.
View on schoolsEdit
The Vietnamese parents consider children's good school performance as a source of happiness for their family, encouraging their children to do well in school and to enter professional jobs as the way to get a better life. Vietnam's traditional Confucianist society values schools and learning, and many Vietnamese Americans have worked their way up from menial labor to have their second-generation children and go to college and become better. Compared to other Asian immigrant groups, Vietnamese Americans are more hopeful 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.
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