Little Vietnam

Little Vietnam

"Little Vietnam" on John R Road in Madison Heights, Michigan
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet Little Vietnam

Little Vietnam is a name given to ethnic enclaves of expatriate Vietnamese. Alternate names include Little Saigon (mainly in "free countries" ) and Little Hanoi (mainly in historically communist nations), depending on the enclave's political history. Saigon is the former name of the capital of the former South Vietnam, whereas Hanoi is the current capital of Vietnam.


Political leanings

Tet Festival in Little Saigon, Orange County, California

Vietnamese enclaves such as those labeled as "Little Vietnam" have differing political leanings depending on whether it is one that exists in the "western" countries versus those that exist in the former Soviet-bloc. "Little Saigon", a term that is associated specifically with the Vietnamese enclaves in the United States are typically anti-communist, whereas, "Little Hanoi", a term that is associated with those Vietnamese enclaves in the former Soviet-bloc have their origins from the Communist era. This was made apparent when a Vietnamese-American video store owner named Truong Van Tran caused controversial stir when he displayed in his store a portrait of Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. In the former East Germany, the Little Vietnam "... on the eastern side sought to bolster its workforce with unskilled Gastarbeiter, or 'guest workers', to help build socialism on German soil."[1]

Separated communities and integration

Vietnamese enclaves in the United States tend to live in separated communities according to a study Brown University. According to the study, the Vietnamese tend to stay separated from white Americans as much as African Americans are separated from non-Hispanic whites. The same study also found that among Asian Americans, the Vietnamese have the highest rate of poverty.[2]

In contrast, the Vietnamese community in France is well integrated into French society, largely due to better linguistic and cultural knowledge of the host nation among the generation of immigrants. A survey in 1988 among French citizens placed the Vietnamese in fourth place as the most integrated immigrant group in the country, behind the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese communities.[3] Furthermore, the Vietnamese population in France has a high level of education attainment, and average income rates are above the national median.[3]

Grocery stores and restaurants

Pho served with beef brisket

Many Vietnamese enclaves will have numerous Asian supermarkets and Vietnamese restaurants. For example, Madison Heights, Michigan's Little Vietnam supposedly started with a nail supply stores, which then expanded to a full service Vietnamese grocery store selling everything from Vietnamese DVDs to Chinese herbs. The article further states that a Vietnamese restaurant was then opened by students at a nearby university, which then accounted for "... full 55% of such restaurants located in Metro Detroit." [4]


Overseas Vietnamese
Người Việt Hải Ngoại
Total population
~4,000,000 (estimates)
Regions with significant populations
 United States 1,799,632 (2010)[5]
 Cambodia 600,000[6]
 France 300,000 (2012)[7]
 Australia 210,800 (2010)[8]
 Canada 157,450 (2011)[9]
 Taiwan 120,000
 Malaysia 70,000[12]
 Laos 30,000 (2012)[13]
 Russia up to 150,000[14]
 Germany 137.000(2010)[15]
 South Korea 116,219(2011)[16]
 Czech Republic 60,000(2008) [17]
 United Kingdom 55,000[18]
 Poland 50,000[14]
 Japan 41,136(2008) [19]
 United Arab Emirates 20,000[20]
 China 20,000[14]
 Netherlands 18,913[21]
 Norway 18,333(2006) [22]
 Sweden 11,771(2003) [23]
 Thailand 10,000[24]
 Denmark 8,575(2002) [23]
  Switzerland 8,173
 Qatar 8,000(2008) [25]
 Belgium 7,151(2001) [23]
 New Zealand 4,875(2006) [26]
 Ukraine 3,850(2001) [27]
 Hungary 1,020(2001) [28]
 Finland 4,000[29]
 Slovakia 3,000[30]
 Brazil 1,000
 Italy 3,000
Elsewhere 400,000


Little Saigon (US)

See also: Little Saigon
Phước Lộc Thọ, known in English as Asian Garden Mall, the first Vietnamese-American business center in Little Saigon, Orange County

In the United States, most of the Vietnamese enclaves are labeled Little Saigon, although some use the term "Little Vietnam", with the major concentrations on the west coast, especially in the U.S. state of California.

Chicago, Illinois, US

West Argyle Street Historic District in the U.S. city of Chicago is known as "Little Vietnam" by most notable sources.[31]

New Orleans, Louisiana, US
Main article: Eastern New Orleans

Eastern New Orleans is known as "Little Vietnam" in the area called Village de L'Est where it is home to the Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery.

Orlando, Florida, US

East Colonial Drive in the U.S. city of Orlando, Florida has a "Little Vietnam" that is known for its Vietnamese cuisine.[32] The area has been evolving since the 1970s and is currently a 10 block stretch Colonial Drive.[33]



One notable Little Vietnam is the one in Singapore on Joo Chiat Road with its karaoke bars where they say "... the smart ones learn Mandarin to cater to as many customers as possible.[34]


Little Hanoi (Former Soviet-bloc Nations)

See also: Little Hanoi

In the former Soviet-bloc nations of East Germany, Czech Republic, and Russia, the Vietnamese enclaves are usually labeled "Little Hanoi" to reflect the representation of the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. Other names, (for example: "Sapa") will usually reflect other aspects of the North Vietnamese geography.


Unlike other overseas Vietnamese populations, Vietnamese in France have not formed ethnic enclaves within the major cities of France, largely due to high rates of integration. However, there is a significant Vietnamese presence and concentration in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, especially in the Quartier Asiatique neighborhood.[35]

While Vietnamese enclaves are not found within the major cities of France, there are a handful of suburbs in the Île-de-France region surrounding Paris that contain significant Vietnamese populations. The relatively quick assimilation and affluence of Vietnamese who arrived after the Vietnam War resulted in the suburbanization of the community during the 1980s. Communes with a high concentration of Vietnamese are found in the départment of Seine-et-Marne, as well as the town of Ivry-sur-Seine.[36]

In southern France, a "Little Vietnam" in Sainte-Livrade-sur-Lot which housed 1,160 Vietnamese refugees in a refugee camp faces demolition after being in existence since 1956. The location has been in neglect where 120 families still live in shacks who are third and fourth generations of the people affected by the World War II.[37]

United Kingdom

London's "Pho Mile" is located in Shoreditch along Kingsland Road.[38]



In Melbourne the suburb of Richmond has a large proportion of Vietnamese-Australians, Victoria Street is often nicknamed "Little Vietnam."[39] Other Vietnamese communities are centered around Springvale Road in Springvale, most parts of Footscray and also in St Albans. In Sydney they are concentrated in Bankstown, Cabramatta, Canley Vale and Villawood.

See also


  1. "Berlin's kitschy and flavourful Little Vietnam".
  2. "Study: US Vietnamese Tend to Live in Separate Communities".
  3. 1 2 La diaspora vietnamienne (in French)
  4. "Little Vietnam In Madison Heights".
  5. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 16, 2012 Taken from You can manually reach that page by entering in "Quick Start" of "Vietnamese" and check the "race/ancestry" checkbox, choose "Vietnamese and any combination", "OK", and then roll down and choose the first "SELECTED POPULATION PROFILE IN THE UNITED STATES". I had to upload this to mediafire because factfinder doesn't allow permalink.
  6. CIA – The World Factbook. Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  7. . Les français d'origine vietnamienne de retour à Saigon, La Croix, 2013. Retrieved on November 27, 2013.
  8. Year Book Australia, 2012
  9. . Statistics Canada, 2011 Census
  10. Archived September 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. "Malaysia to raise minimum wage for Vietnamese laborers". Thanh Nien News. March 1, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  13. "Cộng đồng người Việt tại Lào mừng lễ Vu Lan [Vietnamese community in Laos celebrates Ghost Festival]", Voice of Vietnam, August 31, 2012, retrieved November 30, 2012
  14. 1 2 3 (Vietnamese) "Cộng đồng người Việt Nam ở nước ngoài". Quê Hương. 2005-03-09. Archived from the original on 2006-12-24. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
  15. . Retrieved on September 10, 2012.
  16. . Retrieved on March 13, 2012.
  17. Number of foreigners in the CR | CZSO. Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  18. "Vietnamese Community in Great Britain". Runnymede Trust. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  19. Archived December 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. "Bevolking naar herkomst". Statistics Netherlands. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  21. Archived from the original on May 3, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. 1 2 3
  23. Việt Nam và Thái Lan hợp tác dạy tiếng Việt. (July 14, 2008). Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  24. Vietnamese – Facts and figures – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. (March 4, 2009). Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  25. All-Ukrainian Population Census 2001: The distribution of the population by nationality and mother tongue State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Retrieved September 4, 2012
  26. Népszámlálás 2011. (May 24, 2011). Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  27. Người Việt ở Phần Lan náo nức chuẩn bị Tết Mậu Tý – Tiền Phong Online. Retrieved on May 30, 2011.
  28. Bộ Ngoại giao Việt Nam
  29. "Exploring Chicago's Little Vietnam neighborhood with kids".
  30. "36 Hours in Orlando, Fla.".
  31. "The Evolving Identity of Orlando's Little Vietnam".
  32. "Two sides of Little Vietnam in Singapore".
  33. Smith, Craig S. Face behind Paris 'bistro' counter becomes Asian. International Herald Tribune, 10 May 2005.
  34. La Diaspora Vietnamienne en France un cas particulier (in French)
  35. "FEATURE: 'Little Vietnam' in rural France faces demolition".
  36. "Vietnamese restaurants in Shoreditch".
  37. "Melbourne's gateway to little Vietnam on Lunar New Year".
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