These reasons led to a massive shift of the Hmong population in the mid-to- late 1980s to central California cities like Fresno, Stockton, and Merced, and to a lesser extent, to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The 2000 Census counted 186,310 Hmong Americans across the U. (single race or part-Hmong), representing a nearly 90 percent increase in the population from 1990.

This shift was epitomized by the emergence of Minneapolis and St.

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Many agree, however, that the figure is probably a significant undercount.

During the 1990s, the Hmong moved again: away from the West and towards the Midwest and the South.

Data from the 2000 Census shows considerable upward socioeconomic movement, as many Hmong settled into stable or more lucrative jobs.

Traditionally, the Hmong favor large families with many children.

About half of Hmong today live in the Midwest, mostly in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, compared to 41 percent in 1990.

Meanwhile, the proportion of Hmong in the Western states fell to 42 percent in 2000 from 55 percent in 1990.This helps explain the huge Hmong American population growth between 19, despite the decline in refugee admissions after 1994.These demographic trends suggest the Hmong population will continue to be among the fastest growing Asian group in the United States in the coming decades."They came here and they found jobs within a month or two and are making ten, eleven, twelve dollars an hour," he said.A 2002 community directory provides listings of 13 Hmong community organizations and 39 Hmong religious congregations in the Minneapolis-St. Whereas many Hmong in California's Central Valley have taken up their old occupations of farming, those in Minneapolis have found jobs working in factories.But there is a substantial emerging class of Hmong small business owners -- many of them congregated near St.