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

State Language Data - US

United States

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) (%) 44,430,136
Speak only English 16.5%
Speak English "very well" 36.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 46.8%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2018 32.6%
% 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 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2018 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 22,581,619
Speak only English 21.1%
Speak English "very well" 42.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 36.8%
Noncitizens 21,848,517
Speak only English 11.8%
Speak English "very well" 31.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 57.1%

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) (%) 263,090,988
Speak only English 88.5%
Speak English ""very well"" 9.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1.8%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -14.1%
% 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 53,705,927
Speak only English 41,574,325
Speak language other than English 12,131,602
Speak English "very well"
9,806,349
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
2,325,253
Speak Spanish 8,661,517
Speak English "very well"
7,067,707
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
1,593,810
Ages 18-64 201,392,083
Speak only English 154,183,730
Speak language other than English 47,208,353
Speak English "very well"
28,438,502
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
18,769,851
Speak Spanish 28,953,761
Speak English "very well"
16,588,511
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
12,365,250
65 and Older 52,423,114
Speak only English 44,494,401
Speak language other than English 7,928,713
Speak English "very well"
3,396,400
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
4,532,313
Speak Spanish 3,845,149
Speak English "very well"
1,540,273
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
2,304,876
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 77.4%
Speak language other than English 22.6%
Speak English "very well" 18.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.3%
Speak Spanish 16.1%
Speak English "very well" 13.2%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 3.0%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 76.6%
Speak language other than English 23.4%
Speak English "very well" 14.1%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 9.3%
Speak Spanish 14.4%
Speak English "very well" 8.2%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 6.1%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 84.9%
Speak language other than English 15.1%
Speak English "very well" 6.5%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 8.6%
Speak Spanish 7.3%
Speak English "very well" 2.9%
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, 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 307,521,124
Speak only English 240,252,456
Speak language other than English 67,268,668
Spanish 41,460,427
Speak English "very well" 25,196,491
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,263,936
French (Including Cajun) 1,232,173
Speak English "very well" 963,114
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 269,059
Haitian 834,483
Speak English "very well" 513,296
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 321,187
Italian 553,691
Speak English "very well" 419,028
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 134,663
Portuguese 816,474
Speak English "very well" 533,728
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 282,746
German 889,651
Speak English "very well" 758,641
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 131,010
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 533,147
Speak English "very well" 384,497
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 148,650
Russian 919,279
Speak English "very well" 529,412
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 389,867
Polish 509,062
Speak English "very well" 317,979
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 191,083
Other Slavic Languages 585,017
Speak English "very well" 394,958
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 190,059
Armenian 232,837
Speak English "very well" 133,464
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 99,373
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 450,920
Speak English "very well" 292,111
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 158,809
Gujarati 419,164
Speak English "very well" 284,872
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 134,292
Hindi 874,314
Speak English "very well" 710,667
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 163,647
Urdu 485,373
Speak English "very well" 346,189
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 139,184
Punjabi 315,987
Speak English "very well" 190,950
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 125,037
Bengali 375,143
Speak English "very well" 223,827
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 151,316
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 424,308
Speak English "very well" 271,833
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 152,475
Other Indo-European Languages 834,444
Speak English "very well" 610,689
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 223,755
Telugu 400,186
Speak English "very well" 330,049
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 70,137
Tamil 308,857
Speak English "very well" 260,328
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 48,529
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 279,930
Speak English "very well" 223,906
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 56,024
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 3,471,604
Speak English "very well" 1,642,463
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,829,141
Japanese 459,200
Speak English "very well" 270,622
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 188,578
Korean 1,086,335
Speak English "very well" 512,156
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 574,179
Hmong 234,927
Speak English "very well" 140,252
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 94,675
Vietnamese 1,542,473
Speak English "very well" 659,491
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 882,982
Khmer 183,601
Speak English "very well" 91,238
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 92,363
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 309,898
Speak English "very well" 160,708
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 149,190
Other Languages of Asia 421,825
Speak English "very well" 206,697
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 215,128
Tagalog (including Filipino) 1,760,468
Speak English "very well" 1,241,716
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 518,752
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 486,415
Speak English "very well" 318,144
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 168,271
Arabic 1,259,118
Speak English "very well" 816,705
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 442,413
Hebrew 215,889
Speak English "very well" 183,698
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 32,191
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 582,461
Speak English "very well" 343,632
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 238,829
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 581,609
Speak English "very well" 462,771
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 118,838
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 272,233
Speak English "very well" 182,908
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 89,325
Native Languages of North America 371,279
Speak English "very well" 304,210
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 67,069
Other and Unspecified Languages 294,466
Speak English "very well" 213,811
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 80,655
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 78.1%
Field 308 21.9%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 60.8%
Field 310 39.2%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 78.2%
Field 315 21.8%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 61.5%
Field 316 38.5%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 75.7%
Field 319 24.3%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 65.4%
Field 322 34.6%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 85.3%
Field 325 14.7%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 72.1%
Field 328 27.9%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 57.6%
Field 331 42.4%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 62.5%
Field 334 37.5%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 67.5%
Field 337 32.5%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 57.3%
Field 340 42.7%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 64.8%
Field 343 35.2%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 68.0%
Field 346 32.0%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 81.3%
Field 349 18.7%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 71.3%
Field 352 28.7%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 60.4%
Field 355 39.6%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 59.7%
Field 358 40.3%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 64.1%
Field 361 35.9%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 73.2%
Field 364 26.8%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 82.5%
Field 367 17.5%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 84.3%
Field 370 15.7%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 80.0%
Field 373 20.0%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 47.3%
Field 376 52.7%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 58.9%
Field 379 41.1%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 47.1%
Field 382 52.9%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 59.7%
Field 385 40.3%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 42.8%
Field 388 57.2%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 49.7%
Field 391 50.3%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 51.9%
Field 394 48.1%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 49.0%
Field 397 51.0%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 70.5%
Field 400 29.5%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 65.4%
Field 403 34.6%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 64.9%
Field 406 35.1%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 85.1%
Field 409 14.9%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 59.0%
Field 412 41.0%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 79.6%
Field 415 20.4%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 67.2%
Field 418 32.8%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 81.9%
Field 421 18.1%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 72.6%
Field 424 27.4%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 39,256,647
Less than high school diploma 26.9%
High school diploma or GED 22.3%
Some college or associate's degree 18.9%
Bachelor's degree 18.1%
Graduate or professional degree 13.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 40.6%
Bachelor's degree or higher 17.2%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2018 13.6%
% change: 1990-2000 47.9%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2018 113.7%
% 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, 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 (%) 21,051,845
Less than high school diploma 19.1%
High school diploma or GED 21.6%
Some college or associate's degree 22.9%
Bachelor's degree 21%
Graduate or professional degree 15.3%
Noncitizens (%) 18,204,802
Less than high school diploma 35.9%
High school diploma or GED 23%
Some college or associate's degree 14.3%
Bachelor's degree 14.6%
Graduate or professional degree 12.2%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 183,902,200
Less than high school diploma 8.4%
High school diploma or GED 27.9%
Some college or associate's degree 31.0%
Bachelor's degree 20.4%
Graduate or professional degree 12.3%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -41.4%
% change: 1990-2000 -19.8%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 56.1%
% 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, 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.