E.g., 10/04/2023
E.g., 10/04/2023
State Language Data - US
 

United States

Language & Education
2021
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) (%) 45,013,027
Speak only English 17.3%
Speak English "very well" 36.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 46.1%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2021 32.5%
% 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, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2021 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 23,994,149
Speak only English 21.1%
Speak English "very well" 41.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 37.3%
Noncitizens 21,018,878
Speak only English 12.8%
Speak English "very well" 31%
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) (%) 268,219,473
Speak only English 88.6%
Speak English ""very well"" 9.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1.9%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -8.7%
% 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 54,814,033
Speak only English 43,122,756
Speak language other than English 11,691,277
Speak English "very well"
9,188,526
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
2,502,751
Speak Spanish 8,118,810
Speak English "very well"
6,390,971
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
1,727,839
Ages 18-64 202,526,453
Speak only English 155,080,701
Speak language other than English 47,445,752
Speak English "very well"
28,913,514
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
18,532,238
Speak Spanish 28,891,508
Speak English "very well"
16,788,129
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
12,103,379
65 and Older 55,892,014
Speak only English 47,274,607
Speak language other than English 8,617,407
Speak English "very well"
3,731,129
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
4,886,278
Speak Spanish 4,244,623
Speak English "very well"
1,775,972
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
2,468,651
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 78.7%
Speak language other than English 21.3%
Speak English "very well" 16.8%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.6%
Speak Spanish 14.8%
Speak English "very well" 11.7%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 3.2%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 76.6%
Speak language other than English 23.4%
Speak English "very well" 14.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 9.2%
Speak Spanish 14.3%
Speak English "very well" 8.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 6.0%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 84.6%
Speak language other than English 15.4%
Speak English "very well" 6.7%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 8.7%
Speak Spanish 7.6%
Speak English "very well" 3.2%
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, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2021 ACS.

Number
Total Household Population, Age 5 and Older 313,232,500
Speak only English 245,478,064
Speak language other than English 67,754,436
Spanish 41,254,941
Speak English "very well" 24,955,072
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,299,869
French (Including Cajun) 1,175,318
Speak English "very well" 924,393
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 250,925
Haitian 894,804
Speak English "very well" 550,290
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 344,514
Italian 512,803
Speak English "very well" 384,298
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 128,505
Portuguese 937,369
Speak English "very well" 595,164
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 342,205
German 857,426
Speak English "very well" 729,509
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 127,917
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 573,876
Speak English "very well" 380,117
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 193,759
Russian 1,044,892
Speak English "very well" 618,161
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 426,731
Polish 533,367
Speak English "very well" 336,503
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 196,864
Other Slavic Languages 650,691
Speak English "very well" 418,616
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 232,075
Armenian 256,028
Speak English "very well" 158,990
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 97,038
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 472,290
Speak English "very well" 299,198
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 173,092
Gujarati 436,909
Speak English "very well" 295,876
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 141,033
Hindi 864,830
Speak English "very well" 711,743
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 153,087
Urdu 507,972
Speak English "very well" 373,159
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 134,813
Punjabi 318,588
Speak English "very well" 188,937
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 129,651
Bengali 403,024
Speak English "very well" 234,390
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 168,634
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 447,811
Speak English "very well" 297,084
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 150,727
Other Indo-European Languages 914,906
Speak English "very well" 666,807
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 248,099
Telugu 459,836
Speak English "very well" 374,524
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 85,312
Tamil 341,396
Speak English "very well" 293,192
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 48,204
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 280,188
Speak English "very well" 215,718
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 64,470
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 3,404,634
Speak English "very well" 1,638,893
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,765,741
Japanese 455,459
Speak English "very well" 266,618
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 188,841
Korean 1,073,463
Speak English "very well" 526,613
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 546,850
Hmong 239,605
Speak English "very well" 146,984
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 92,621
Vietnamese 1,523,114
Speak English "very well" 639,569
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 883,545
Khmer 192,510
Speak English "very well" 87,711
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 104,799
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 283,944
Speak English "very well" 136,375
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 147,569
Other Languages of Asia 460,192
Speak English "very well" 229,063
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 231,129
Tagalog (including Filipino) 1,715,436
Speak English "very well" 1,167,367
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 548,069
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 485,797
Speak English "very well" 308,385
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 177,412
Arabic 1,390,937
Speak English "very well" 930,647
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 460,290
Hebrew 214,679
Speak English "very well" 185,161
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 29,518
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 596,099
Speak English "very well" 371,733
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 224,366
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 639,630
Speak English "very well" 509,382
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 130,248
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 287,680
Speak English "very well" 194,907
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 92,773
Native Languages of North America 324,674
Speak English "very well" 260,204
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 64,470
Other and Unspecified Languages 327,318
Speak English "very well" 231,816
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 95,502
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 78.4%
Field 308 21.6%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 60.5%
Field 310 39.5%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 78.7%
Field 315 21.3%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 61.5%
Field 316 38.5%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 74.9%
Field 319 25.1%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 63.5%
Field 322 36.5%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 85.1%
Field 325 14.9%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 66.2%
Field 328 33.8%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 59.2%
Field 331 40.8%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 63.1%
Field 334 36.9%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 64.3%
Field 337 35.7%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 62.1%
Field 340 37.9%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 63.4%
Field 343 36.6%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 67.7%
Field 346 32.3%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 82.3%
Field 349 17.7%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 73.5%
Field 352 26.5%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 59.3%
Field 355 40.7%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 58.2%
Field 358 41.8%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 66.3%
Field 361 33.7%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 72.9%
Field 364 27.1%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 81.4%
Field 367 18.6%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 85.9%
Field 370 14.1%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 77.0%
Field 373 23.0%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 48.1%
Field 376 51.9%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 58.5%
Field 379 41.5%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 49.1%
Field 382 50.9%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 61.3%
Field 385 38.7%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 42.0%
Field 388 58.0%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 45.6%
Field 391 54.4%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 48.0%
Field 394 52.0%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 49.8%
Field 397 50.2%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 68.1%
Field 400 31.9%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 63.5%
Field 403 36.5%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 66.9%
Field 406 33.1%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 86.3%
Field 409 13.7%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 62.4%
Field 412 37.6%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 79.6%
Field 415 20.4%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 67.8%
Field 418 32.2%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 80.1%
Field 421 19.9%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 70.8%
Field 424 29.2%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 40,189,300
Less than high school diploma 25.6%
High school diploma or GED 22.1%
Some college or associate's degree 18.5%
Bachelor's degree 18.6%
Graduate or professional degree 15.2%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 42.4%
Bachelor's degree or higher 17.0%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2021 10.7%
% change: 1990-2000 47.9%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2021 131.7%
% 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, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2021 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 (%) 22,494,849
Less than high school diploma 18.4%
High school diploma or GED 21.3%
Some college or associate's degree 22.1%
Bachelor's degree 21.7%
Graduate or professional degree 16.5%
Noncitizens (%) 17,694,451
Less than high school diploma 34.8%
High school diploma or GED 23.1%
Some college or associate's degree 13.8%
Bachelor's degree 14.7%
Graduate or professional degree 13.5%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 188,004,164
Less than high school diploma 7.4%
High school diploma or GED 27.2%
Some college or associate's degree 30.1%
Bachelor's degree 21.8%
Graduate or professional degree 13.5%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -47.1%
% change: 1990-2000 -19.8%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 71.9%
% 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’s American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census. Unless stated otherwise, 2021 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, Ronald Goeken, Megan Schouweiler and Matthew Sobek. IPUMS USA: Version 12.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2022. https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V12.0.

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 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2021 ACS. 
  • For “Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)”: Data for Alaska, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2017-2021 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2021 ACS.