The Hmong Community

Compiled by Clifton L. Holland


The terms Hmong and Mong  both refer to an Asian ethnic group whose homeland is in the mountainous regions of southern China.  Beginning in the 18th-century, Hmong people migrated to Southeast Asia and today live in northern Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975, a large number of Hmong/Mong people sought refuge in several Western countries, including the United States, Australia, France, French Guiana, and Canada.

In Orange County, Hmong tribespeople were resettled there in the early 1980s; see the article below regarding the Hmong Resettlement Project.   

The IDEA Strategic Mapping and Information Service, directed by Clifton L. Holland, has produced a series of computer maps on ethnic and religious diversity in the Los Angeles 5-County Region, based on the 1990 Census of Population.    See the following links:   

Los Angeles County:  ../laco/hmong.pdf (note PDF format).     Orange County:  ../orco/d-as-hmong.pdf (note PDF format).  


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The Hmong Resettlement Study Site Report:  Orange County, California

by Mary Cohn

Sponsor:  Office of Refugee Resettlement (DHHS), Washington, DC

This document describes the resettlement of Hmong refugees in Orange County, California: what their employment experience has been, which resettlement efforts have been successful, and how current efforts could be altered to improve the Hmong's long term adjustment. 

The report is part of a larger, national project on Hmong resettlement.  Much of the data was gathered through personal interviews with Hmong living in Orange County and resettlement workers involved with this group.   The first section of the report gives general information about Orange County and describes what welfare benefits, housing, and refugee services are available, as well as how receptive the community is to refugees.  Section II gives brief information on the local Hmong population which, according to one source, numbered approximately 3,000 in 1983.  Section III deals with employment and education issues: what jobs are available; how limited English skills affect employment and how these obstacles are being combatted; the problem of welfare as a disincentive both for work and education; the availability of job training; how Hmong students are faring in school; and adult language instruction.  The final section describes the long range problems and expectations for the Hmong in Orange County, including the increasing mental health problems, particularly of the middle aged and older members of the population; and how the young Hmong view their possibilities in the United States.