The countries of birth and ethnicities of Australia's Hmong and Lao communities: an analysis of recent Australian census data

Coughlan, James E. (2010) The countries of birth and ethnicities of Australia's Hmong and Lao communities: an analysis of recent Australian census data. Journal of Lao Studies, 1 (1). pp. 55-85.

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Abstract

From the beginning of 1975 until mid-2008, approximately 11,200 Hmong and Lao immigrants and refugees have settled in Australia. Although these immigrants are well aware of their ancestral origins and ethnicity identity, within the broader Australian community there is a general ignorance of the ethnic diversity of Laos, as well as some misunderstanding about the number of Hmong and Lao immigrants and their descendants in Australia.

This article presents a brief preliminary analysis of ancestry, country of birth, and language spoken at home data from the 2006 Australian Census of Population and Housing relating to the Hmong and Lao communities in Australia, with the main emphasis on the responses to the ancestry and language spoken at home questions. The analysis and data presented here seeks to (i) develop an ethnic profile of the Laos-born communities in Australia, and to discuss how this profile has changed since 1986, and (ii) produce an estimate of the size of the ethnic Hmong and Lao communities in Australia as of mid-2006.

The 2006 Census data show that of those persons born in Laos, approximately 65 per cent indicated that they were of Lao ethnicity, 15 per cent of Chinese ethnicity, seven per cent of Hmong ethnicity and five per cent Vietnamese ancestry; while at the same time there were 2,190 people of Hmong ancestry and 10,769 of Lao ancestry resident in Australia.

Item ID: 8905
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Hmong; Lao; ethnicity; census; Australia
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Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 22:12
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies > 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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