Laotian immigration to the United States started shortly after the Vietnam War. During the 1980s so the census estimated that there were 147,375 people by 1990.
Many Laotian-Americans adhere Buddhism and are responsible for constructing numerous Buddhist temples, called vat or wat such as the Lao Buddist Temple of Denver.
Like many Asian cultures, food is a central part of Laotian life and community. Sticky rice is considered the essence of what it means to be Laotian. Traditionally, Laotian dishes include more vegetables and herbs than their Thai and Vietnamese counterparts.