E.g., 06/22/2017
E.g., 06/22/2017

State Language Data - CA

California

Language & Education
2015
2000
1990
English Proficiency

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

Note: The term "foreign born" refers to people residing in the United States at the time of the population survey who were not U.S. citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization.

Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 10,637,808
Speak only English 10.1%
Speak English "very well" 34.3%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 55.6%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2015 16.4%
% change: 1990-2000 42.0%
English Proficiency of the Foreign Born by U.S. Citizenship Status (age 5 and older)*

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English. Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2015 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 5,305,094
Speak only English 13%
Speak English "very well" 40.9%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 46.1%
Noncitizens 5,332,714
Speak only English 7.2%
Speak English "very well" 27.8%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 65.0%

Note: The term "U.S. born" refers to people residing in the United States who were U.S. citizens in one of three categories: people born in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia; people born in U.S. Insular Areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam; or people who were born abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent.

U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 25,999,361
Speak only English 74.0%
Speak English ""very well"" 22.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3.4%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -25.6%
% change: 1990-2000 44.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 8,762,060
Speak only English 10.9%
"Speak English ""very well"" 31.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 57.9%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 22,654,569
Speak only English 79.7%
"Speak English ""very well"" 15.0%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 6,337,062
Speak only English 12.4%
"Speak English ""very well"" 31.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 56.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 21,014,236
Speak only English 85.5%
"Speak English ""very well"" 10.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4.0%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Population (age 5 and older)
 
 
Language Spoken at Home (by age and English proficiency)

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

Number
Ages 5-17 6,608,769
Speak only English 3,654,450
Speak language other than English 2,954,319
Speak English "very well"
2,432,977
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
521,342
Speak Spanish 2,313,075
Speak English "very well"
1,922,356
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
390,719
Ages 18-64 24,838,842
Speak only English 13,312,525
Speak language other than English 11,526,317
Speak English "very well"
6,468,113
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
5,058,204
Speak Spanish 7,480,566
Speak English "very well"
4,058,163
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
3,422,403
65 and Older 5,189,558
Speak only English 3,344,390
Speak language other than English 1,845,168
Speak English "very well"
620,443
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
1,224,725
Speak Spanish 852,370
Speak English "very well"
282,064
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
570,306
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 55.3%
Speak language other than English 44.7%
Speak English "very well" 36.8%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 7.9%
Speak Spanish 35.0%
Speak English "very well" 29.1%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 5.9%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 53.6%
Speak language other than English 46.4%
Speak English "very well" 26.0%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 20.4%
Speak Spanish 30.1%
Speak English "very well" 16.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 13.8%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 64.4%
Speak language other than English 35.6%
Speak English "very well" 12.0%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 23.6%
Speak Spanish 16.4%
Speak English "very well" 5.4%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 11.0%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Population (age 5 and older)
 
 
Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

Number
Total Household Population, Age 5 and Older 36,637,169
Speak only English 20,311,365
Speak language other than English 16,325,804
Spanish or Spanish Creole 10,646,011
Speak English "very well" 6,262,583
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,383,428
French (Including Patois and Cajun) 130,605
Speak English "very well" 113,573
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 17,032
French Creole 4,915
Speak English "very well" 3,819
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,096
Italian 59,205
Speak English "very well" 46,451
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 12,754
Portuguese or Portuguese Creole 78,260
Speak English "very well" 55,902
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 22,358
German 109,568
Speak English "very well" 96,416
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 13,152
Yiddish 2,954
Speak English "very well" 2,590
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 364
Other West Germanic Languages 23,780
Speak English "very well" 21,577
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,203
Scandinavian Languages 21,109
Speak English "very well" 19,354
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,755
Greek 26,695
Speak English "very well" 20,629
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 6,066
Russian 160,990
Speak English "very well" 92,446
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 68,544
Polish 20,380
Speak English "very well" 16,228
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,152
Serbo-Croatian 19,072
Speak English "very well" 13,290
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,782
Other Slavic Languages 29,856
Speak English "very well" 19,166
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 10,690
Armenian 187,866
Speak English "very well" 99,596
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 88,270
Persian 199,620
Speak English "very well" 118,899
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 80,721
Gujarati 45,989
Speak English "very well" 32,050
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 13,939
Hindi 186,188
Speak English "very well" 150,794
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 35,394
Urdu 52,484
Speak English "very well" 39,117
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 13,367
Other Indic Languages 224,159
Speak English "very well" 135,474
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 88,685
Other Indo-European Languages 48,017
Speak English "very well" 31,168
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,849
Chinese 1,206,703
Speak English "very well" 517,194
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 689,509
Japanese 145,121
Speak English "very well" 78,153
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 66,968
Korean 377,532
Speak English "very well" 168,980
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 208,552
Mon-Khmer, Cambodian 76,775
Speak English "very well" 37,308
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 39,467
Hmong 75,374
Speak English "very well" 44,984
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 30,390
Thai 49,061
Speak English "very well" 20,878
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 28,183
Laotian 42,349
Speak English "very well" 21,500
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 20,849
Vietnamese 534,406
Speak English "very well" 212,261
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 322,145
Other Asian Languages 203,073
Speak English "very well" 148,977
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 54,096
Tagalog 832,690
Speak English "very well" 549,317
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 283,373
Other Pacific Island Languages 120,678
Speak English "very well" 80,178
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 40,500
Navajo 1,117
Speak English "very well" 887
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 230
Other Native North American Languages 7,968
Speak English "very well" 6,948
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,020
Hungarian 12,994
Speak English "very well" 9,983
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,011
Arabic 192,980
Speak English "very well" 118,206
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 74,774
Hebrew 43,268
Speak English "very well" 37,221
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 6,047
African Languages 83,845
Speak English "very well" 56,824
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 27,021
Other and Unspecified Languages 42,147
Speak English "very well" 20,612
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 21,535
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 55.4%
Field 308 44.6%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 58.8%
Field 310 41.2%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 87.0%
Field 315 13.0%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 77.7%
Field 316 22.3%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 78.5%
Field 319 21.5%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 71.4%
Field 322 28.6%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 88.0%
Field 325 12.0%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 87.7%
Field 328 12.3%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 90.7%
Field 331 9.3%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 91.7%
Field 334 8.3%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 77.3%
Field 337 22.7%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 57.4%
Field 340 42.6%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 79.6%
Field 343 20.4%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 69.7%
Field 346 30.3%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 64.2%
Field 349 35.8%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 53.0%
Field 352 47.0%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 59.6%
Field 355 40.4%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 69.7%
Field 358 30.3%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 81.0%
Field 361 19.0%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 74.5%
Field 364 25.5%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 60.4%
Field 367 39.6%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 64.9%
Field 370 35.1%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 42.9%
Field 373 57.1%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 53.9%
Field 376 46.1%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 44.8%
Field 379 55.2%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 48.6%
Field 382 51.4%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 59.7%
Field 385 40.3%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 42.6%
Field 388 57.4%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 50.8%
Field 391 49.2%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 39.7%
Field 394 60.3%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 73.4%
Field 397 26.6%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 66.0%
Field 400 34.0%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 66.4%
Field 403 33.6%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 79.4%
Field 406 20.6%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 87.2%
Field 409 12.8%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 76.8%
Field 412 23.2%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 61.3%
Field 415 38.7%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 86.0%
Field 418 14.0%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 67.8%
Field 421 32.2%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 48.9%
Field 424 51.1%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 9,645,010
Less than high school diploma 34.4%
High school diploma or GED 19.6%
Some college or associate's degree 18.6%
Bachelor's degree 16.9%
Graduate or professional degree 10.5%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 71.5%
Bachelor's degree or higher 31.4%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2015 7.6%
% change: 1990-2000 44.3%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2015 75.6%
% change: 1990-2000 76.6%
Educational Attainment by U.S. Citizenship Status (foreign-born adults, age 25 and older)

Note: 1) 1) Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2015 ACS. 2) The letter N Indicates that a number could not be provided by the Census Bureau because the number of sample cases was too small for this state.

 
Naturalized citizens (%) 5,064,777
Less than high school diploma 24%
High school diploma or GED 18.9%
Some college or associate's degree 23.4%
Bachelor's degree 21.4%
Graduate or professional degree 12.4%
Noncitizens (%) 4,580,233
Less than high school diploma 45.9%
High school diploma or GED 20.5%
Some college or associate's degree 13.2%
Bachelor's degree 12%
Graduate or professional degree 8.4%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 16,440,253
Less than high school diploma 8.0%
High school diploma or GED 21.5%
Some college or associate's degree 35.3%
Bachelor's degree 22.2%
Graduate or professional degree 12.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -28.7%
% change: 1990-2000 -19.6%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 38.2%
% change: 1990-2000 19.1%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 7,001,114
Less than high school diploma 44.1%
High school diploma or GED 15.9%
Some college or associate's degree 18.6%
Bachelor's degree 13.6%
Graduate or professional degree 7.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 62.4%
Bachelor's degree or higher 26.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 14,310,486
Less than high school diploma 13.0%
High school diploma or GED 22.2%
Some college or associate's degree 35.6%
Bachelor's degree 18.9%
Graduate or professional degree 10.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 4,635,457
Less than high school diploma 46.1%
High school diploma or GED 16.1%
Some college or associate's degree 19.5%
Bachelor's degree 11.7%
Graduate or professional degree 6.7%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 48.1%
Bachelor's degree or higher 19.5%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 14,044,712
Less than high school diploma 16.4%
High school diploma or GED 24.4%
Some college or associate's degree 34.2%
Bachelor's degree 16.4%
Graduate or professional degree 8.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Sources: Migration Policy Institute tabulations of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census. Unless stated otherwise, 2015 data are from the one-year ACS file. For information about ACS definitions, methodology, sampling error, and nonsampling error, click here. Estimates from 1990 and 2000 Decennial Census data as well as ACS microdata are from Steven Ruggles, Matthew Sobek, Trent Alexander, Catherine A. Fitch, Ronald Goeken, Patricia Kelly Hall, Miriam King, and Chad Ronnander, "Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 4.0" (Machine-readable database, Minnesota Population Center [producer and distributor], 2011).

Definitions

  • The term "foreign born" refers to people residing in the United States at the time of the population survey who were not U.S. citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization.
  • The term "U.S. born" refers to people residing in the United States who were U.S. citizens in one of three categories: people born in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia; people born in U.S. Insular Areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam; or people who were born abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent.
  • The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English “not at all,” “not well,” or “well” on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English “very well” are considered proficient in English.

Data-related notes

  • The letter N indicates that an estimate could not be provided by the Census Bureau because the number of sample cases was too small for this state.
  • For “English proficiency of the foreign born by U.S. citizenship status” and “Educational Attainment by U.S. Citizenship Status”: Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2015 ACS.