The Laotian Community

Compiled by Clifton L. Holland


A Laotian American is a resident of the United States who was originally from Laos or whose parents were originally from Laos. They constitute one group of Asian Americans.

Laotian immigration to the United States was at its height after the Vietnam War. Most Laotian Americans live in the states of California, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee,Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, or Washington. There are also large communities in Ohio, Iowa, Florida, and Pennsylvania. There are about over 200,000 ethnic Lao in America. 4,000 - 7,000 more Americans are mixed with another ethnic group and Lao. Ethnic Lao would be considered both Lao American and Laotian American.

Although many Hmong people are from Laos, Hmong Americans are usually not considered to be Lao American because they are not of the Lao ethnic group.  However, the category of Laotian American includes the Hmong and other Laotian groups, as well as Ethnic Chinese and Ethnic Vietnamese from Laos.


Maps of Laotian population by census tracts in the Los Angeles area:

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 by census tracts, based on the 1990 Census of Population.   See the following links:   

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


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