E.g., 08/24/2019
E.g., 08/24/2019

State Language Data - US

United States

Language & Education
2017
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) (%) 44,203,957
Speak only English 16.3%
Speak English "very well" 35.9%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 47.9%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2017 35.0%
% change: 1990-2000 71.8%
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 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 21,904,783
Speak only English 21%
Speak English "very well" 41.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 37.3%
Noncitizens 22,299,174
Speak only English 11.6%
Speak English "very well" 30.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 58.3%

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) (%) 261,720,062
Speak only English 88.7%
Speak English ""very well"" 9.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1.8%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -15.3%
% change: 1990-2000 17.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 30,709,064
Speak only English 17.0%
"Speak English ""very well"" 32.0%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 51.0%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 231,666,088
Speak only English 90.7%
"Speak English ""very well"" 6.8%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 19,424,613
Speak only English 20.9%
"Speak English ""very well"" 32.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 47.0%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 210,481,543
Speak only English 92.2%
"Speak English ""very well"" 5.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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 53,853,524
Speak only English 41,721,605
Speak language other than English 12,131,919
Speak English "very well"
9,753,057
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
2,378,862
Speak Spanish 8,674,872
Speak English "very well"
7,032,300
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
1,642,572
Ages 18-64 201,254,783
Speak only English 154,415,615
Speak language other than English 46,839,168
Speak English "very well"
27,704,409
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
19,134,759
Speak Spanish 28,675,632
Speak English "very well"
16,130,802
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
12,544,830
65 and Older 50,815,712
Speak only English 43,194,493
Speak language other than English 7,621,219
Speak English "very well"
3,191,145
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
4,430,074
Speak Spanish 3,667,116
Speak English "very well"
1,419,592
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
2,247,524
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 77.5%
Speak language other than English 22.5%
Speak English "very well" 18.1%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.4%
Speak Spanish 16.1%
Speak English "very well" 13.1%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 3.1%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 76.7%
Speak language other than English 23.3%
Speak English "very well" 13.8%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 9.5%
Speak Spanish 14.2%
Speak English "very well" 8.0%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 6.2%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 85.0%
Speak language other than English 15.0%
Speak English "very well" 6.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 8.7%
Speak Spanish 7.2%
Speak English "very well" 2.8%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.4%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS.

Number
Total Household Population, Age 5 and Older 305,924,019
Speak only English 239,331,713
Speak language other than English 66,592,306
Spanish 41,017,620
Speak English "very well" 24,582,694
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,434,926
French (Including Cajun) 1,202,060
Speak English "very well" 950,775
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 251,285
Haitian 886,765
Speak English "very well" 542,086
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 344,679
Italian 567,270
Speak English "very well" 421,557
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 145,713
Portuguese 794,836
Speak English "very well" 505,981
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 288,855
German 917,812
Speak English "very well" 784,232
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 133,580
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 505,820
Speak English "very well" 364,027
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 141,793
Russian 936,344
Speak English "very well" 535,549
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 400,795
Polish 520,322
Speak English "very well" 327,379
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 192,943
Other Slavic Languages 581,525
Speak English "very well" 384,379
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 197,146
Armenian 248,187
Speak English "very well" 141,069
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 107,118
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 420,131
Speak English "very well" 260,223
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 159,908
Gujarati 434,264
Speak English "very well" 286,791
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 147,473
Hindi 863,077
Speak English "very well" 698,073
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 165,004
Urdu 507,329
Speak English "very well" 365,923
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 141,406
Punjabi 310,650
Speak English "very well" 183,318
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 127,332
Bengali 350,928
Speak English "very well" 209,832
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 141,096
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 433,367
Speak English "very well" 280,201
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 153,166
Other Indo-European Languages 840,801
Speak English "very well" 607,328
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 233,473
Telugu 415,414
Speak English "very well" 334,958
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 80,456
Tamil 286,732
Speak English "very well" 241,045
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 45,687
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 245,549
Speak English "very well" 192,767
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 52,782
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 3,462,091
Speak English "very well" 1,573,282
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,888,809
Japanese 466,976
Speak English "very well" 280,603
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 186,373
Korean 1,095,161
Speak English "very well" 527,836
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 567,325
Hmong 233,982
Speak English "very well" 142,119
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 91,863
Vietnamese 1,498,874
Speak English "very well" 625,262
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 873,612
Khmer 207,479
Speak English "very well" 98,542
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 108,937
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 315,410
Speak English "very well" 160,140
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 155,270
Other Languages of Asia 406,436
Speak English "very well" 185,128
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 221,308
Tagalog (including Filipino) 1,746,344
Speak English "very well" 1,210,943
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 535,401
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 458,959
Speak English "very well" 289,804
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 169,155
Arabic 1,227,768
Speak English "very well" 771,307
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 456,461
Hebrew 226,172
Speak English "very well" 194,545
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 31,627
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 526,194
Speak English "very well" 296,289
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 229,905
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 541,013
Speak English "very well" 421,437
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 119,576
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 267,787
Speak English "very well" 176,220
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 91,567
Native Languages of North America 350,997
Speak English "very well" 297,857
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 53,140
Other and Unspecified Languages 273,860
Speak English "very well" 197,110
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 76,750
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 78.2%
Field 308 21.8%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 59.9%
Field 310 40.1%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 79.1%
Field 315 20.9%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 61.1%
Field 316 38.9%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 74.3%
Field 319 25.7%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 63.7%
Field 322 36.3%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 85.4%
Field 325 14.6%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 72.0%
Field 328 28.0%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 57.2%
Field 331 42.8%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 62.9%
Field 334 37.1%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 66.1%
Field 337 33.9%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 56.8%
Field 340 43.2%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 61.9%
Field 343 38.1%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 66.0%
Field 346 34.0%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 80.9%
Field 349 19.1%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 72.1%
Field 352 27.9%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 59.0%
Field 355 41.0%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 59.8%
Field 358 40.2%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 64.7%
Field 361 35.3%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 72.2%
Field 364 27.8%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 80.6%
Field 367 19.4%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 84.1%
Field 370 15.9%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 78.5%
Field 373 21.5%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 45.4%
Field 376 54.6%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 60.1%
Field 379 39.9%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 48.2%
Field 382 51.8%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 60.7%
Field 385 39.3%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 41.7%
Field 388 58.3%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 47.5%
Field 391 52.5%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 50.8%
Field 394 49.2%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 45.5%
Field 397 54.5%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 69.3%
Field 400 30.7%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 63.1%
Field 403 36.9%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 62.8%
Field 406 37.2%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 86.0%
Field 409 14.0%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 56.3%
Field 412 43.7%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 77.9%
Field 415 22.1%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 65.8%
Field 418 34.2%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 84.9%
Field 421 15.1%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 72.0%
Field 424 28.0%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 38,945,226
Less than high school diploma 27.5%
High school diploma or GED 22.7%
Some college or associate's degree 18.8%
Bachelor's degree 17.6%
Graduate or professional degree 13.4%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 40.3%
Bachelor's degree or higher 17.1%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2017 15.3%
% change: 1990-2000 47.9%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2017 106.0%
% change: 1990-2000 88.9%
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 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 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 (%) 20,395,479
Less than high school diploma 19.3%
High school diploma or GED 21.9%
Some college or associate's degree 23%
Bachelor's degree 20.8%
Graduate or professional degree 15%
Noncitizens (%) 18,549,747
Less than high school diploma 36.6%
High school diploma or GED 23.6%
Some college or associate's degree 14.1%
Bachelor's degree 14.2%
Graduate or professional degree 11.6%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 182,304,857
Less than high school diploma 8.7%
High school diploma or GED 28.1%
Some college or associate's degree 31.0%
Bachelor's degree 20.1%
Graduate or professional degree 12.1%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -40.0%
% change: 1990-2000 -19.8%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 52.2%
% change: 1990-2000 32.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 24,363,109
Less than high school diploma 38.2%
High school diploma or GED 19.2%
Some college or associate's degree 18.5%
Bachelor's degree 13.7%
Graduate or professional degree 10.3%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 26.0%
Bachelor's degree or higher 13.2%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 157,819,105
Less than high school diploma 16.7%
High school diploma or GED 30.1%
Some college or associate's degree 28.7%
Bachelor's degree 15.8%
Graduate or professional degree 8.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 15,267,154
Less than high school diploma 41.2%
High school diploma or GED 19.7%
Some college or associate's degree 18.8%
Bachelor's degree 11.5%
Graduate or professional degree 8.8%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 16.0%
Bachelor's degree or higher 9.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 143,244,094
Less than high school diploma 23.0%
High school diploma or GED 31.1%
Some college or associate's degree 25.5%
Bachelor's degree 13.3%
Graduate or professional degree 7.1%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Sources: Migration Policy Institute tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census. Unless stated otherwise, 2017 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 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS. 
  • For “Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)”: Data for Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS.