Vietnamese people in the Netherlands
Vietnamezen in Nederland
Total population
21,435 (2016)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Helmond, Almere, Purmerend, Hoorn, Harlingen, Leeuwarden, Spijkenisse
Vietnamese, Dutch[2]
Mahayana Buddhism,[3][4] Roman Catholicism[5]
Related ethnic groups
Overseas Vietnamese

Vietnamese people in the Netherlands form one of the smaller overseas Vietnamese communities of Europe. They consist largely of refugees from the former South Vietnam, and their descendants.


The first Vietnamese boat people arrived in the Netherlands in 1977.[6]

In the early 1990s, after the fall of communist regimes all over Central and Eastern Europe, a group of about 400 Vietnamese—formerly guest workers in Czechoslovakia—fled to the Netherlands and sought asylum there.[7] By May 1992, 300 still remained. The Vietnamese government, although it saw the asylum-seekers as guilty of a crime for having fled, offered assurances to the Dutch government that they would suffer no discrimination if repatriated.[8]

Demographic characteristics

As of 2009, statistics of the Dutch Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek showed:

For a total of 18,915 persons (9,157 men, 9,758 women). This represented 46% growth over the 1996 total of 12,937 persons. Most of the growth was in the locally born segment of the population, whose numbers more than doubled from 3,366 persons over the period in question; the number of Vietnamese-born showed more modest growth of 25%, from 9,571 persons.[1]


A part of Vietnamese people in the Netherlands are Buddhists. Pagode Van Hanh is one of the official Vietnamese Buddhist temples in the Netherlands.[4][9] The temple is situated in Nederhorst den Berg, a small village in Utrecht. The temple is from the association Stichting Vietnamese Boeddhistische Samenwerking Nederland. Around thousand Vietnamese families are named as members.

The two first parishes aimed at the Netherlands' Vietnamese Catholic community, the Allochtonen Missie van de Heilige Martelaren van Vietnam in Amersfoort and the Allochtonen Missie van de Heilige Moeder Maria in Deventer, were set up in 1994; at that time, there were estimated to be roughly 3,000 Vietnamese Catholics in the country.[5]

Health issues

Of the first 541 Vietnamese refugees who arrived in the Netherlands, 16.6% tested positive for the presence of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg).[10] Intestinal parasites were also common.[11]



  1. ^ a b CBS 2014
  2. ^ Truong 1993, p. 301
  3. ^ Đề nghị ghi rõ nguồn CongDong.Cz Hội Phật giáo Việt Nam tại Hà Lan xây chùa mới Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Vietnamese Buddhist Pagodas in the Netherlands
  5. ^ a b "Twee speciale parochies voor Vietnamezen opgericht", Trouw, 1994-09-01, retrieved 2009-05-31
  6. ^ Tiggeloven, Carin (2002-01-04), ""We hoopten op redding": 25 Jaar Vietnamese bootvluchtelingen in Nederland", Wereldomroep, retrieved 2009-06-01
  7. ^ de Preter, Hans (1992-01-04), "Spanning stijgt bij kerk-Vietnamezen: Spanning stijgt bij kerk-Vietnamezen", Trouw, retrieved 2009-06-01
  8. ^ "Vietnamezen krijgen hulp bij terugkeer naar vaderland: Vietnamezen krijgen hulp bij terugkeer naar vaderland", Trouw, 1992-05-14, retrieved 2009-06-01
  9. ^ Hội Phật giáo Việt Nam tại Hà Lan xây chùa mới Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Bänffer 1982, p. 251
  11. ^ Bänffer & van Knapen 1982, p. 1395


Further reading