E.g., 06/25/2024
E.g., 06/25/2024
State Language Data - TN
 

Tennessee

Language & Education
2022
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) (%) 386,229
Speak only English 20.6%
Speak English "very well" 34.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 45.3%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2022 145.2%
% 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, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2018-2022 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2022 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 161,455
Speak only English 29.4%
Speak English "very well" 40.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 30%
Noncitizens 224,774
Speak only English 14.2%
Speak English "very well" 29.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 56.2%

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) (%) 6,262,895
Speak only English 96.6%
Speak English ""very well"" 2.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 0.7%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 10.6%
% 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 1,132,918
Speak only English 1,017,090
Speak language other than English 115,828
Speak English "very well"
83,662
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
32,166
Speak Spanish 74,573
Speak English "very well"
50,213
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
24,360
Ages 18-64 4,298,242
Speak only English 3,931,521
Speak language other than English 366,721
Speak English "very well"
199,428
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
167,293
Speak Spanish 204,592
Speak English "very well"
92,137
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
112,455
65 and Older 1,217,964
Speak only English 1,180,686
Speak language other than English 37,278
Speak English "very well"
21,033
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
16,245
Speak Spanish 13,211
Speak English "very well"
8,079
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
5,132
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 89.8%
Speak language other than English 10.2%
Speak English "very well" 7.4%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 2.8%
Speak Spanish 6.6%
Speak English "very well" 4.4%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 2.2%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 91.5%
Speak language other than English 8.5%
Speak English "very well" 4.6%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 3.9%
Speak Spanish 4.8%
Speak English "very well" 2.1%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 2.6%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 96.9%
Speak language other than English 3.1%
Speak English "very well" 1.7%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 1.3%
Speak Spanish 1.1%
Speak English "very well" 0.7%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 0.4%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2018-2022 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2022 ACS.

Number
Total Household Population, Age 5 and Older 6,649,124
Speak only English 6,129,297
Speak language other than English 519,827
Spanish 292,376
Speak English "very well" 150,429
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 141,947
French (Including Cajun) 12,798
Speak English "very well" 9,290
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,508
Haitian 1,857
Speak English "very well" 1,615
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 242
Italian 2,327
Speak English "very well" 2,133
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 194
Portuguese 6,017
Speak English "very well" 4,805
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,212
German 12,262
Speak English "very well" 10,920
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,342
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 7,352
Speak English "very well" 6,278
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,074
Russian 3,829
Speak English "very well" 2,869
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 960
Polish 1,994
Speak English "very well" 1,480
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 514
Other Slavic Languages 5,107
Speak English "very well" 3,648
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,459
Armenian 459
Speak English "very well" 304
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 155
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 6,070
Speak English "very well" 3,464
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,606
Gujarati 4,338
Speak English "very well" 2,857
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,481
Hindi 5,908
Speak English "very well" 5,302
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 606
Urdu 1,109
Speak English "very well" 864
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 245
Punjabi 602
Speak English "very well" 593
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 9
Bengali 1,270
Speak English "very well" 681
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 589
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 3,833
Speak English "very well" 2,868
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 965
Other Indo-European Languages 7,422
Speak English "very well" 5,838
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,584
Telugu 4,731
Speak English "very well" 4,189
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 542
Tamil 3,252
Speak English "very well" 2,881
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 371
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 2,249
Speak English "very well" 1,647
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 602
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 15,915
Speak English "very well" 8,405
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 7,510
Japanese 2,959
Speak English "very well" 1,746
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,213
Korean 8,815
Speak English "very well" 4,880
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,935
Hmong N
Speak English "very well" N
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) N
Vietnamese 13,147
Speak English "very well" 6,773
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 6,374
Khmer 483
Speak English "very well" 383
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 100
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 5,896
Speak English "very well" 4,071
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,825
Other Languages of Asia 7,860
Speak English "very well" 2,620
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,240
Tagalog (including Filipino) 9,411
Speak English "very well" 7,746
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,665
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 2,504
Speak English "very well" 1,000
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,504
Arabic 38,740
Speak English "very well" 24,633
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 14,107
Hebrew 793
Speak English "very well" 701
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 92
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 8,483
Speak English "very well" 5,081
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,402
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 8,162
Speak English "very well" 6,230
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,932
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 6,017
Speak English "very well" 2,739
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,278
Native Languages of North America 273
Speak English "very well" 262
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 11
Other and Unspecified Languages 3,207
Speak English "very well" 1,898
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,309
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 92.2%
Field 308 7.8%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 51.5%
Field 310 48.5%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 72.6%
Field 315 27.4%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 87.0%
Field 316 13.0%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 91.7%
Field 319 8.3%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 79.9%
Field 322 20.1%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 89.1%
Field 325 10.9%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 85.4%
Field 328 14.6%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 74.9%
Field 331 25.1%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 74.2%
Field 334 25.8%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 71.4%
Field 337 28.6%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 66.2%
Field 340 33.8%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 57.1%
Field 343 42.9%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 65.9%
Field 346 34.1%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 89.7%
Field 349 10.3%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 77.9%
Field 352 22.1%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 98.5%
Field 355 1.5%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 53.6%
Field 358 46.4%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 74.8%
Field 361 25.2%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 78.7%
Field 364 21.3%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 88.5%
Field 367 11.5%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 88.6%
Field 370 11.4%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 73.2%
Field 373 26.8%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 52.8%
Field 376 47.2%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 59.0%
Field 379 41.0%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 55.4%
Field 382 44.6%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 N
Field 385 N
Field 388 100%
Field 388 51.5%
Field 388 48.5%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 79.3%
Field 391 20.7%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 69.0%
Field 394 31.0%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 33.3%
Field 397 66.7%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 82.3%
Field 400 17.7%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 39.9%
Field 403 60.1%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 63.6%
Field 406 36.4%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 88.4%
Field 409 11.6%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 59.9%
Field 412 40.1%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 76.3%
Field 415 23.7%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 45.5%
Field 418 54.5%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 96.0%
Field 421 4.0%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 59.2%
Field 424 40.8%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 315,972
Less than high school diploma 23.6%
High school diploma or GED 23.2%
Some college or associate's degree 17.9%
Bachelor's degree 20.4%
Graduate or professional degree 14.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 15.9%
Bachelor's degree or higher 7.4%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2022 123.5%
% change: 1990-2000 265.3%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2022 211.0%
% 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, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2018-2022 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2022 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 (%) 142,612
Less than high school diploma 12.5%
High school diploma or GED 21.3%
Some college or associate's degree 22.7%
Bachelor's degree 24.4%
Graduate or professional degree 19.1%
Noncitizens (%) 173,360
Less than high school diploma 32.7%
High school diploma or GED 24.8%
Some college or associate's degree 14%
Bachelor's degree 17.2%
Graduate or professional degree 11.4%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 4,552,138
Less than high school diploma 8.7%
High school diploma or GED 31.9%
Some college or associate's degree 28.7%
Bachelor's degree 19.6%
Graduate or professional degree 11.2%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -54.6%
% change: 1990-2000 -14.4%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 100.0%
% 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’s American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census. Unless stated otherwise, 2022 data are from the one-year ACS file. For information about ACS definitions, click here. For ACS 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, Matthew Sobek, Daniel Backman, Annie Chen, Grace Cooper, Stephanie Richards, Renae Rogers, and Megan Schouweiler. IPUMS USA: Version 14.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2023. https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V14.0​.

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, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2018-2022 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2022 ACS. 
  • For “Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)”: Data for Alaska, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2018-2022 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2022 ACS.