IMPACT AWARDS

June 27, 2024 at The Pierre NYC

M

Empowering New York’s Asian American Community Since 1989

Ethnic Profiles

Vietnamese in NYC: A Profile

Asian American Federation

Population 

Between 2015 and 2020, the Vietnamese1 population in NYC grew (+8.9%) at a faster rate than the Asian2 population (+6.8%). No other Asian ethnic group in NYC is growing as quickly as the Vietnamese population. In contrast, the City shrunk by 0.6% over the same period.  

During this time, the Vietnamese population moved away from the Bronx (-6.8 percentage points), Brooklyn (-2.3 percentage points), and Staten Island (-1.7 percentage points) and shifted into Manhattan (+6.9 percentage points) and Queens (+3.9 percentage points). Even with this shift, no other Asian ethnic group has as high a proportion of its population living in the Bronx (14.7%).

Note: Children are under 18, adults are between 18-64, and seniors are 65+.

The share of seniors in the overall Vietnamese population is growing: they now are 5.3 percentage points more of the total Vietnamese population than in 2015. The Vietnamese population is aging faster than the broader NYC population, whose senior population grew by 2.2 percentage points.

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Immigration, Citizenship, & Mobility

The Vietnamese population has the highest percentage of naturalized citizens (42.7%) and the lowest percentage of non-citizens (16.0%) compared to other Asian ethnic groups in NYC. In contrast, most people in NYC became citizens by birthright (63.3%) and naturalization (20.9%). Some 15.8% of New Yorkers are non-citizens.

Note: ‘Past year’ indicates one year from when the survey was conducted.

58.6% of Vietnamese in NYC are foreign-born, compared to only one-third in NYC overall (36.7%). This is the lowest foreign-born rate among Asian ethnic groups.

8.5% of foreign-born Vietnamese arrived within 5 years of the survey, slightly lower than the City’s 9.5% estimate and the lowest rate among Asian ethnic groups.

The Vietnamese population is somewhat mobile. Within one year of the survey, 3.6% of the overall Vietnamese population had relocated to NYC from elsewhere in the U.S., and 3.3% had relocated from abroad.

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Education & English

Vietnamese adults aged 25 and older have differing levels of education, with one-quarter (25.2%) holding less than a high school education and one-half (49.6%) holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. This is both less and more educated than the City overall on the two ends of the educational spectrum, where 17.3% have less than a high school education and 39.0% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Vietnamese adults are also more educated than the Asian adult population, where 43.7% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Note: “Limited English proficiency” applies to those who do not speak English only and speak English less than very well.

The Vietnamese community’s English proficiency levels are lower than those of the City, with 40.8% of Vietnamese over the age of 5 considered to have limited English proficiency (LEP) versus the City’s 22.4% rate. The LEP rate is lower for Vietnamese children (5+ but under 18) at 12.0% but more than double for Vietnamese seniors (age 65+) at 83.5%.

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Income & Poverty

Note: Adjusted for inflation.

Vietnamese New Yorkers have average per capita and family median incomes and above-average household median incomes compared to New York City residents overall.

Note: Near poverty is above 100% but below 200% of the poverty threshold. Children are under 18, adults are between 18-64, and seniors are 65+.

Vietnamese poverty rates are below-average compared to both NYC and Asian populations. However, a significant proportion (42.8%) of senior Vietnamese residents are near poverty, which is double the rate of New York City seniors overall (19.6%). In comparison, Vietnamese children and adults have below average or average rates of poverty.

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Benefits & Health

Vietnamese households3 are enrolled in SNAP at a lower rate than both City and Asian households.

The Affordable Care Act has significantly reduced the number of uninsured in NYC, and the Vietnamese population is no exception. Between 2015 and 2020, 48.1% fewer Vietnamese people were uninsured. As a result, the Vietnamese now have the lowest rates of uninsured people (4.7%) compared to other Asian ethnic groups. The remaining population is enrolled in private insurance (67.5%) and public insurance (31.8%).

A lower percentage of the Vietnamese population is enrolled in government-assisted health insurance compared to both City and Asian populations.

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Employment

Note: Civilian labor force participation rate is the count of civilians employed and unemployed over the total labor force (age 16 and over, including those in the military).

Vietnamese labor force participation rates are above-average for male workers and average for female workers.

Note: Calculated over the civilian labor force.

Vietnamese unemployment rates are half of the City rates across the board and the lowest across Asian ethnic groups.

Vietnamese employees are about as likely to be self-employed (9.5%) as employees in the overall population (9.5%).

60.5% of the Vietnamese labor force is employed by five industries. The highest percentage of Vietnamese employed by a single industry is 16.2% in professional services. Within professional services, 23.3% of Vietnamese work in computer systems design, 12.7% work in management, scientific, and technical consulting services, and 12.3% work in advertising.

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Housing

Average household size, NYC, 2015 and 2020

Household group20152020
Overall2.652.57
Asian3.102.98
Vietnamese3.002.88

Vietnamese households3 had a larger average household size than City households (2.88 people versus 2.57 people). In general, average household sizes have decreased in New York City since 2015, and Vietnamese households are no exception.

Note: Overcrowding is defined as more than one person per room.

Vietnamese households3 are overcrowded (12.6%) at a higher rate than City households (8.2%) but at a lower rate than Asian households (14.7%).

Vietnamese households3 own and rent their homes at a similar rate to City households.

Note: A household is considered rent burdened if between 30%-50% of household income is spent on gross rent and severely rent burdened if over 50% of household income is spent on gross rent.

Vietnamese renters are less rent burdened compared to City and Asian renters. 65.5% of rented Vietnamese households are rent burdened in some capacity, with the majority qualifying as severely rent burdened. These rates are below City (72.3% of rented households qualify as rent burdened) and Asian households (75.3%).

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Technology

Note: A household is considered to own a computer if they own a desktop or laptop, a smartphone, a tablet or other portable wireless computer, or some other type of computer.

Vietnamese households3 report owning a computer at similar rates to Asian and City households.

Vietnamese households3 report higher internet access rates than Asian and City households.

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1 Vietnamese statistics are for the Vietnamese Alone or in Any Combination category unless otherwise noted.

2 Asian statistics are for the Asian Alone or in Any Combination category unless otherwise noted.

3 Asian households are led by an Asian householder and can consist of non-Asian persons. Similarly, Vietnamese households are led by a Vietnamese householder and can consist of non-Vietnamese persons.

Technical Notes

Race Categories
Beginning with the Census 2000, the Census Bureau collects data in which respondents were allowed to mark more than one race. For example, 2000 data include results for single race as well as multiple-race responses. “Vietnamese Alone” corresponds to the respondents who reported only Vietnamese and no other race category. “Alone” should be considered the minimum population size in any analysis that uses Census Bureau data.

To be as inclusive as possible, this profile uses “Vietnamese Alone or in Any Combination” numbers where possible. “Alone or in Any Combination” corresponds to the responses (not respondents) that included Vietnamese , either alone or in any combination with other Asian groups or other race categories. If a respondent selected Vietnamese and another racial group (e.g., Vietnamese and black), that individual, while excluded from the “Vietnamese Alone” count, was tallied in the “Alone or in Any Combination” count for Vietnamese and the other racial group. Hence, some overlap in the “In Any Combination” numbers occurred. “Alone or in Any Combination” should be considered the maximum population size in any analysis that uses Census Bureau data.

 

About This Profile
These profiles were released in August 2022 and are based on the 2015 and 2020 American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample.

This is one of a series of Asian American population profiles prepared by the Asian American Federation Census Information Center (CIC) to increase understanding of the rapidly growing and diverse Asian American population in the New York metropolitan area. Highlighted statistics, including those not found on charts, are sourced via this profile’s detailed data and documentation. Data citations from this profile should include the following acknowledgment: “Data derived from analysis by the Asian American Federation Census Information Center.”

For more information regarding this profile, please contact the Asian American Federation Census Information Center at (646)492-8958 x 221 or [email protected], or visit our Census Center.

 



Annie Wang is AAF’s summer 2022 research intern and a master’s student studying International Migration Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY. You can reach her at [email protected].

Acknowledgements

BY Annie Wang