SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Over the last four decades, the Vietnamese community in the U.S. has grown to 1.7 million, with elected representatives to Congress, state government and local offices.
Here are some facts about the Vietnamese-American community:
— In the 1970 census, the Vietnamese population wasn’t counted as a separate ethnic group. A decade later, the country had 262,000 Vietnamese residents, and the community more than doubled in the 1980s, census data shows. More than 1.7 million people identified as Vietnamese in the 2010 census.
— One in 10 Asian-Americans is Vietnamese. Vietnamese-Americans are the fourth-biggest Asian group in the U.S., following Chinese-, Filipino- and Indian-Americans.
— More than a third of Vietnamese-Americans live in California, with major hubs in Orange County and San Jose. Texas, Washington state and Florida are also home to sizable Vietnamese communities.
— In 2008, Louisiana Republican Joseph Cao became the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress. In 2011, former prosecutor Jacqueline Nguyen was tapped to be the first Vietnamese-American federal appellate judge. In Orange County, California, Vietnamese-American politicians have won election to a slew of county and state offices. The community is considered a formidable voting bloc.
— Vietnamese-American celebrities include documentary filmmaker Duc Nguyen, artist Dinh Q. Le and Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Cuong Vu. Action film star Maggie Q and orthopedic surgeon-turned-shoe mogul Taryn Rose are also Vietnamese-American.
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