Aging in different places: lifecourse outcomes among elderly Vietnamese refugee migrants in the U.S. and non-migrants in Vietnam

James W. McNally, University of Michigan

During the 1970’s and 1980’s several nations became countries of destination for waves of Vietnamese refugee immigrants fleeing the fall of the South Vietnamese government. Of the approximately 50,000 Vietnamese elderly aged 65+ enumerated in the 2000 US Census there are two primary migration groups. The majority entered during the refugee era, tapering off by the early 1980’s and more recent waves in the 1990’s reflecting family reunification migration. This paper looks comparatively at these two groups, evaluating their health, socioeconomic success and family structure. We are interested in seeing what differences, if any exist between recent elderly immigrants from Vietnam and those who aged within the US economic and health care system. We will also introduce a third comparative group. Using the 1999 Vietnamese Census we will look at the same 65+ cohort and compare the lifecourse outcomes among those elders who never left their country of origin.

Presented in Poster Session 3: Migration, environment and spatial demography