A Retrospective Look: The Social and Economic Integration of the Vietnamese Refugee Youth and the Second Generation in Contemporary Canada

Project Researchers

Monica Boyd
Project Lead

Professor at University of Toronto

Project Description


Today, considerable academic and media attention is given to the on-going Canadian admission of Syrian refugees. But nearly 40 years ago, Vietnamese Boat People arrived in Canada (1979- 1980). Others fleeing the war-torn region arrived in the 1980s and beyond. The proposed research assesses the social and economic integration of three distinctive groups of youth associated with these flows during 1979-1990: the 1.5 generation (typically defined as arriving before age 13), those arriving as adolescents (14-20), and those born in Canada to parents born in Vietnam, compared with other Asian birthplace groups arriving or born during the same time. The assessments rest on analyses of the 2011 National Household Survey, and focus on educational attainments, language use, labour market characteristics (labour force participation, unemployment, occupational and industrial location, and earnings) and home ownership. The analyses will offer a backdrop and projection of what might be the experiences of recently arrived vulnerable youth, such as those from war torn Syria and other countries.