Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic

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Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic
Ha Thanh Špetlíková 1 – Show Jana Krause.jpg
Ha Thanh Špetlíková, a Czech actress of Vietnamese descent
Total population
0.6–0.8% of the Czech population
Regions with significant populations
Prague, Cheb, Varnsdorf
Vietnamese, Czech
Mahayana Buddhism,[3] Roman Catholicism, Protestantism

Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic, including citizens and non-citizens, are the third-largest ethnic minority in the country overall (after Slovaks and Ukrainians), numbering more than 83,000 people according to the 2011 census.

It is the third-largest Vietnamese diaspora in Europe, after Germany and France, and one of the most populous Vietnamese diasporas of the world.

According to the 2001 census, there were 17,462 ethnic Vietnamese in the Czech Republic.[4] The Vietnamese population has grown very rapidly since then, with the Czech Statistics Office estimating that there were 62,842 Vietnamese citizens residing in the Czech Republic in December 2020 (not including those with Czech citizenship).[1] Nguyen, the most common Vietnamese surname, is now the 9th most common surname in the Czech Republic.[5]


Vietnamese citizens legally residing in the Czech Republic as of 31 December (excluding Czech citizens of Vietnamese ethnicity)
Source: [6]

Vietnamese immigrants began settling in the Czech Republic during the communist period, when Vietnam, which sought to bolster its skilled workforce, sent students and guest workers to socialist Czechoslovakia for education and training.[7] Following the collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia, many Vietnamese people decided to remain in the country rather than return to communist Vietnam. This first generation of immigrants has traditionally made a living as vendors in street markets or stalls. In recent years, however, a significant number have moved towards establishing their own businesses and integrating more broadly into society, similar to the experience of other overseas Vietnamese in Western countries. However, the small business sector remains the key economic domain of first-generation Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic.[8]


The largest group of Vietnamese people (13,995 in 2020) lives in Prague, and 2% of the population of Karlovy Vary Region have Vietnamese citizenship,[9] with the border town of Cheb being a main centre for Vietnamese people. The town of Varnsdorf also has a significant Vietnamese population.


In the Czech Republic, national minorities are afforded classic national minority rights, including government funding for the protection of their language and culture. In recent years, the Vietnamese community has sought recognition as a national minority. In 2004, however, the Government Council for National Minorities, the advisory body of the Czech Government on the issues of national minorities, concluded that the Vietnamese do not constitute a "national minority", as this term only applies to indigenous minorities who have inhabited the Czech territory for a long period of time.[10] Eventually in 2013, a representative of the Vietnamese was accepted as a member of the Government Council for National Minorities, which in the absence of precise legal criteria, has been understood as an official recognition of the Vietnamese ethnic minority as a national minority by both authorities and the public.[11][12] In Prague, which has the largest community of Vietnamese, a Vietnamese representative had been a member of the city's National Minority Council and Vietnamese had been included in Prague's policy for national minorities before this happened at the national level.[10]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Foreigners by type of residence, sex and citizenship" (PDF). Czech Statistics Office. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  2. ^ Nozina, Miroslav (2001). "The Dragon and the Lion: Vietnamese Organized Crime in the Czech Republic". Think Magazine (44). Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  3. ^ "First Vietnamese pagoda opens in Czech Republic". Thanh Nien News. Vietnam National Youth Federation. 26 January 2008. Archived from the original on 31 January 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  4. ^ "Other languages in the Czech Republic". The Euromosaic Study. European Commission. 27 October 2006. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  5. ^ "Nguyen je devátým nejčastějším příjmením v Česku, poráží i Procházky". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Czech Republic. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  6. ^[dead link]
  7. ^ O'Connor, Coilin (29 May 2007). "Is the Czech Republic's Vietnamese community finally starting to feel at home?". Czech Radio. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  8. ^ Čermáková, Martina (4 April 2007). "Still a Thorn in the Eye: The Vietnamese-Czech dialog". Provokator Magazine. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  9. ^ 2011 Czech census results by citizenship Archived 4 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b "The City of Prague's National Minority Policy". Prague City Hall. 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  11. ^ Sloboda, Marián (2016). "Historicity and citizenship as conditions for national minority rights in Central Europe: old principles in a new migration context". Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 42 (11): 1808–1824. doi:10.1080/1369183x.2015.1132158. S2CID 146245837.
  12. ^ Kascian, Kyril; Vasilevich, Hanna (2013). "Czech Republic Acknowledgement of Belarusian and Vietnamese as New Minorities". European Yearbook of Minority Issues. 12: 353–371. doi:10.1163/9789004306134_015. Retrieved 23 August 2017.

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