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

State Language Data - TN

Tennessee

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) (%) 344,579
Speak only English 20.4%
Speak English "very well" 35.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 43.9%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2018 112.4%
% change: 1990-2000 394.4%
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 140,315
Speak only English 28.9%
Speak English "very well" 40.8%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 30.3%
Noncitizens 204,264
Speak only English 14.5%
Speak English "very well" 32.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 53.3%

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) (%) 6,020,992
Speak only English 96.8%
Speak English ""very well"" 2.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 0.5%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -17.0%
% change: 1990-2000 29.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 155,547
Speak only English 20.1%
"Speak English ""very well"" 34.0%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 45.8%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 5,160,373
Speak only English 97.4%
"Speak English ""very well"" 1.8%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 0.7%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 57,861
Speak only English 37.5%
"Speak English ""very well"" 37.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 24.9%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 4,471,431
Speak only English 97.9%
"Speak English ""very well"" 1.4%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 0.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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 1,104,936
Speak only English 999,353
Speak language other than English 105,583
Speak English "very well"
84,904
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
20,679
Speak Spanish 74,582
Speak English "very well"
60,729
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
13,853
Ages 18-64 4,155,838
Speak only English 3,824,909
Speak language other than English 330,929
Speak English "very well"
184,700
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
146,229
Speak Spanish 178,725
Speak English "very well"
91,839
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
86,886
65 and Older 1,104,797
Speak only English 1,075,400
Speak language other than English 29,397
Speak English "very well"
14,170
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
15,227
Speak Spanish 11,888
Speak English "very well"
5,095
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
6,793
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 90.4%
Speak language other than English 9.6%
Speak English "very well" 7.7%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 1.9%
Speak Spanish 6.7%
Speak English "very well" 5.5%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 1.3%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 92.0%
Speak language other than English 8.0%
Speak English "very well" 4.4%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 3.5%
Speak Spanish 4.3%
Speak English "very well" 2.2%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 2.1%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 97.3%
Speak language other than English 2.7%
Speak English "very well" 1.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 1.4%
Speak Spanish 1.1%
Speak English "very well" 0.5%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 0.6%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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 6,365,571
Speak only English 5,899,662
Speak language other than English 465,909
Spanish 265,195
Speak English "very well" 157,663
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 107,532
French (Including Cajun) 9,806
Speak English "very well" 7,578
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,228
Haitian 1,651
Speak English "very well" 1,120
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 531
Italian 2,331
Speak English "very well" 1,849
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 482
Portuguese 2,900
Speak English "very well" 2,473
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 427
German 12,985
Speak English "very well" 10,556
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,429
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 3,583
Speak English "very well" 2,943
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 640
Russian 7,464
Speak English "very well" 4,219
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,245
Polish 1,088
Speak English "very well" 992
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 96
Other Slavic Languages 3,908
Speak English "very well" 2,919
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 989
Armenian 217
Speak English "very well" 157
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 60
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 3,144
Speak English "very well" 2,200
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 944
Gujarati 3,295
Speak English "very well" 2,218
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,077
Hindi 4,299
Speak English "very well" 3,645
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 654
Urdu 2,446
Speak English "very well" 2,004
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 442
Punjabi 638
Speak English "very well" 466
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 172
Bengali 1,291
Speak English "very well" 957
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 334
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 5,981
Speak English "very well" 2,974
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,007
Other Indo-European Languages 12,401
Speak English "very well" 7,903
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,498
Telugu 3,195
Speak English "very well" 3,020
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 175
Tamil 2,473
Speak English "very well" 1,844
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 629
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 2,226
Speak English "very well" 1,845
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 381
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 15,436
Speak English "very well" 8,129
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 7,307
Japanese 4,446
Speak English "very well" 2,115
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,331
Korean 6,800
Speak English "very well" 2,743
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,057
Hmong 384
Speak English "very well" N
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 384
Vietnamese 12,025
Speak English "very well" 5,244
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 6,781
Khmer 3,029
Speak English "very well" 1,562
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,467
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 7,134
Speak English "very well" 3,523
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,611
Other Languages of Asia 5,514
Speak English "very well" 2,242
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,272
Tagalog (including Filipino) 9,254
Speak English "very well" 6,946
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,308
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 3,269
Speak English "very well" 2,877
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 392
Arabic 24,554
Speak English "very well" 15,941
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 8,613
Hebrew 296
Speak English "very well" 219
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 77
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 7,104
Speak English "very well" 2,567
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,537
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 5,757
Speak English "very well" 4,329
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,428
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 6,386
Speak English "very well" 2,237
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,149
Native Languages of North America 1,009
Speak English "very well" 977
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 32
Other and Unspecified Languages 995
Speak English "very well" 578
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 417
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 92.7%
Field 308 7.3%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 59.5%
Field 310 40.5%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 77.3%
Field 315 22.7%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 67.8%
Field 316 32.2%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 79.3%
Field 319 20.7%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 85.3%
Field 322 14.7%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 81.3%
Field 325 18.7%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 82.1%
Field 328 17.9%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 56.5%
Field 331 43.5%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 91.2%
Field 334 8.8%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 74.7%
Field 337 25.3%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 72.4%
Field 340 27.6%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 70.0%
Field 343 30.0%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 67.3%
Field 346 32.7%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 84.8%
Field 349 15.2%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 81.9%
Field 352 18.1%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 73.0%
Field 355 27.0%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 74.1%
Field 358 25.9%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 49.7%
Field 361 50.3%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 63.7%
Field 364 36.3%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 94.5%
Field 367 5.5%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 74.6%
Field 370 25.4%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 82.9%
Field 373 17.1%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 52.7%
Field 376 47.3%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 47.6%
Field 379 52.4%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 40.3%
Field 382 59.7%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 N
Field 385 100.0%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 43.6%
Field 388 56.4%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 51.6%
Field 391 48.4%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 49.4%
Field 394 50.6%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 40.7%
Field 397 59.3%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 75.1%
Field 400 24.9%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 88.0%
Field 403 12.0%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 64.9%
Field 406 35.1%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 74.0%
Field 409 26.0%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 36.1%
Field 412 63.9%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 75.2%
Field 415 24.8%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 35.0%
Field 418 65.0%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 96.8%
Field 421 3.2%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 58.1%
Field 424 41.9%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 283,881
Less than high school diploma 27.4%
High school diploma or GED 23.5%
Some college or associate's degree 15.3%
Bachelor's degree 18.5%
Graduate or professional degree 15.3%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 13.8%
Bachelor's degree or higher 7.5%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2018 133.2%
% change: 1990-2000 265.3%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2018 167.4%
% change: 1990-2000 119.8%
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 (%) 122,520
Less than high school diploma 16.1%
High school diploma or GED 23.2%
Some college or associate's degree 20.5%
Bachelor's degree 22.8%
Graduate or professional degree 17.4%
Noncitizens (%) 161,361
Less than high school diploma 36%
High school diploma or GED 23.6%
Some college or associate's degree 11.4%
Bachelor's degree 15.2%
Graduate or professional degree 13.7%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 4,356,942
Less than high school diploma 11.2%
High school diploma or GED 32.4%
Some college or associate's degree 29.4%
Bachelor's degree 17.2%
Graduate or professional degree 9.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -44.0%
% change: 1990-2000 -14.4%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 68.2%
% change: 1990-2000 44.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 113,901
Less than high school diploma 29.3%
High school diploma or GED 19.4%
Some college or associate's degree 19.9%
Bachelor's degree 15.7%
Graduate or professional degree 15.8%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 3.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher 4.9%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 3,630,845
Less than high school diploma 24.0%
High school diploma or GED 31.8%
Some college or associate's degree 24.9%
Bachelor's degree 12.7%
Graduate or professional degree 6.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 45,984
Less than high school diploma 19.9%
High school diploma or GED 22.4%
Some college or associate's degree 22.3%
Bachelor's degree 18.2%
Graduate or professional degree 17.3%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 0.9%
Bachelor's degree or higher 3.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 3,082,581
Less than high school diploma 33.0%
High school diploma or GED 30.3%
Some college or associate's degree 20.9%
Bachelor's degree 10.5%
Graduate or professional degree 5.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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.