E.g., 01/18/2021
E.g., 01/18/2021

State Language Data - MA

Massachusetts

Language & Education
2018
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) (%) 1,188,963
Speak only English 19.6%
Speak English "very well" 38.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 41.9%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2018 53.0%
% change: 1990-2000 45.6%
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 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 641,679
Speak only English 23.5%
Speak English "very well" 41.3%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 35.2%
Noncitizens 547,284
Speak only English 15%
Speak English "very well" 35.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 49.8%

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) (%) 5,355,963
Speak only English 88.1%
Speak English ""very well"" 9.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2.3%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -8.5%
% change: 1990-2000 3.0%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 764,008
Speak only English 21.9%
"Speak English ""very well"" 35.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 42.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 5,190,241
Speak only English 90.0%
"Speak English ""very well"" 7.4%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 568,001
Speak only English 28.4%
"Speak English ""very well"" 32.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 39.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 5,038,492
Speak only English 91.0%
"Speak English ""very well"" 6.4%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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 1,009,903
Speak only English 765,430
Speak language other than English 244,473
Speak English "very well"
196,541
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
47,932
Speak Spanish 117,148
Speak English "very well"
91,923
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
25,225
Ages 18-64 4,397,482
Speak only English 3,243,880
Speak language other than English 1,153,602
Speak English "very well"
702,740
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
450,862
Speak Spanish 448,770
Speak English "very well"
247,873
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
200,897
65 and Older 1,137,541
Speak only English 944,743
Speak language other than English 192,798
Speak English "very well"
71,301
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
121,497
Speak Spanish 49,991
Speak English "very well"
14,441
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
35,550
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 75.8%
Speak language other than English 24.2%
Speak English "very well" 19.5%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.7%
Speak Spanish 11.6%
Speak English "very well" 9.1%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 2.5%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 73.8%
Speak language other than English 26.2%
Speak English "very well" 16.0%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 10.3%
Speak Spanish 10.2%
Speak English "very well" 5.6%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.6%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 83.1%
Speak language other than English 16.9%
Speak English "very well" 6.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 10.7%
Speak Spanish 4.4%
Speak English "very well" 1.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 3.1%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Population (age 5 and older)
 
 
Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)

Note: 1) 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. 2) Data for Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS.

Number
Total Household Population, Age 5 and Older 6,544,926
Speak only English 4,954,053
Speak language other than English 1,590,873
Spanish 615,909
Speak English "very well" 354,237
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 261,672
French (Including Cajun) 52,086
Speak English "very well" 43,360
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 8,726
Haitian 88,030
Speak English "very well" 46,896
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 41,134
Italian 31,959
Speak English "very well" 23,793
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 8,166
Portuguese 205,164
Speak English "very well" 119,789
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 85,375
German 11,663
Speak English "very well" 10,394
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,269
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 4,129
Speak English "very well" 4,019
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 110
Russian 39,454
Speak English "very well" 23,255
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,199
Polish 13,523
Speak English "very well" 10,428
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,095
Other Slavic Languages 12,506
Speak English "very well" 9,292
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,214
Armenian 6,015
Speak English "very well" 4,383
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,632
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 7,149
Speak English "very well" 5,494
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,655
Gujarati 14,988
Speak English "very well" 11,296
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,692
Hindi 27,733
Speak English "very well" 23,217
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,516
Urdu 11,097
Speak English "very well" 8,526
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,571
Punjabi 5,701
Speak English "very well" 2,862
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,839
Bengali 5,258
Speak English "very well" 4,190
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,068
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 14,951
Speak English "very well" 10,017
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,934
Other Indo-European Languages 45,399
Speak English "very well" 30,883
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 14,516
Telugu 8,117
Speak English "very well" 7,205
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 912
Tamil 13,390
Speak English "very well" 12,447
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 943
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 7,040
Speak English "very well" 5,957
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,083
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 142,602
Speak English "very well" 71,590
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 71,012
Japanese 8,251
Speak English "very well" 5,150
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,101
Korean 15,409
Speak English "very well" 9,567
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,842
Hmong 301
Speak English "very well" 258
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 43
Vietnamese 42,772
Speak English "very well" 17,086
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 25,686
Khmer 20,531
Speak English "very well" 10,013
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 10,518
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 4,945
Speak English "very well" 2,957
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,988
Other Languages of Asia 7,937
Speak English "very well" 5,878
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,059
Tagalog (including Filipino) 9,581
Speak English "very well" 7,373
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,208
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 3,816
Speak English "very well" 2,621
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,195
Arabic 40,257
Speak English "very well" 27,605
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 12,652
Hebrew 6,702
Speak English "very well" 6,118
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 584
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 9,923
Speak English "very well" 5,394
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,529
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 15,793
Speak English "very well" 10,760
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,033
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 13,505
Speak English "very well" 11,148
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,357
Native Languages of North America 1,148
Speak English "very well" 1,015
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 133
Other and Unspecified Languages 6,139
Speak English "very well" 4,109
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,030
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 75.7%
Field 308 24.3%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 57.5%
Field 310 42.5%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 83.2%
Field 315 16.8%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 53.3%
Field 316 46.7%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 74.4%
Field 319 25.6%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 58.4%
Field 322 41.6%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 89.1%
Field 325 10.9%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 97.3%
Field 328 2.7%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 58.9%
Field 331 41.1%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 77.1%
Field 334 22.9%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 74.3%
Field 337 25.7%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 72.9%
Field 340 27.1%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 76.8%
Field 343 23.2%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 75.4%
Field 346 24.6%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 83.7%
Field 349 16.3%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 76.8%
Field 352 23.2%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 50.2%
Field 355 49.8%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 79.7%
Field 358 20.3%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 67.0%
Field 361 33.0%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 68.0%
Field 364 32.0%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 88.8%
Field 367 11.2%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 93.0%
Field 370 7.0%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 84.6%
Field 373 15.4%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 50.2%
Field 376 49.8%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 62.4%
Field 379 37.6%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 62.1%
Field 382 37.9%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 85.7%
Field 385 14.3%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 39.9%
Field 388 60.1%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 48.8%
Field 391 51.2%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 59.8%
Field 394 40.2%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 74.1%
Field 397 25.9%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 77.0%
Field 400 23.0%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 68.7%
Field 403 31.3%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 68.6%
Field 406 31.4%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 91.3%
Field 409 8.7%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 54.4%
Field 412 45.6%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 68.1%
Field 415 31.9%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 82.5%
Field 418 17.5%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 88.4%
Field 421 11.6%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 66.9%
Field 424 33.1%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 1,018,690
Less than high school diploma 20.2%
High school diploma or GED 22.4%
Some college or associate's degree 17.2%
Bachelor's degree 19.1%
Graduate or professional degree 21.0%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 46.2%
Bachelor's degree or higher 19.0%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2018 5.1%
% change: 1990-2000 2.5%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2018 116.4%
% change: 1990-2000 89.0%
Educational Attainment by U.S. Citizenship Status (foreign-born adults, age 25 and older)

Note: 1) Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 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 (%) 585,853
Less than high school diploma 17.8%
High school diploma or GED 21.9%
Some college or associate's degree 20.3%
Bachelor's degree 19.8%
Graduate or professional degree 20.3%
Noncitizens (%) 432,837
Less than high school diploma 23.5%
High school diploma or GED 23.1%
Some college or associate's degree 13.1%
Bachelor's degree 18.2%
Graduate or professional degree 22.1%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 3,814,038
Less than high school diploma 6.3%
High school diploma or GED 23.5%
Some college or associate's degree 24.5%
Bachelor's degree 25.8%
Graduate or professional degree 19.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -47.4%
% change: 1990-2000 -24.1%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 42.0%
% change: 1990-2000 25.7%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 622,757
Less than high school diploma 31.5%
High school diploma or GED 21.2%
Some college or associate's degree 16.9%
Bachelor's degree 15.0%
Graduate or professional degree 15.4%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 30.0%
Bachelor's degree or higher 13.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 3,653,889
Less than high school diploma 12.5%
High school diploma or GED 28.2%
Some college or associate's degree 25.7%
Bachelor's degree 20.2%
Graduate or professional degree 13.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 464,366
Less than high school diploma 41.2%
High school diploma or GED 21.9%
Some college or associate's degree 15.4%
Bachelor's degree 10.8%
Graduate or professional degree 10.8%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 24.1%
Bachelor's degree or higher 9.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 3,498,325
Less than high school diploma 17.2%
High school diploma or GED 30.8%
Some college or associate's degree 24.1%
Bachelor's degree 17.4%
Graduate or professional degree 10.5%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Sources: Migration Policy Institute tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census. Unless stated otherwise, 2018 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, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, Erin Meyer, Jose Pacas, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) USA: Version 8.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2018. https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V8.0.

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 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS. 
  • For “Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)”: Data for Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS.