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

State Language Data - WA

Washington

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) (%) 1,095,419
Speak only English 19.0%
Speak English "very well" 39.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 41.8%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2018 64.0%
% change: 1990-2000 142.2%
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 537,848
Speak only English 24.2%
Speak English "very well" 42.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 33.7%
Noncitizens 557,571
Speak only English 13.9%
Speak English "very well" 36.4%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 49.7%

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) (%) 5,981,978
Speak only English 91.1%
Speak English ""very well"" 7.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1.1%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -6.2%
% change: 1990-2000 40.8%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 605,340
Speak only English 22.4%
"Speak English ""very well"" 31.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 46.2%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 4,896,058
Speak only English 93.9%
"Speak English ""very well"" 4.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1.5%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 315,411
Speak only English 33.2%
"Speak English ""very well"" 30.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 36.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 4,163,442
Speak only English 95.4%
"Speak English ""very well"" 3.4%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1.2%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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 1,203,745
Speak only English 929,429
Speak language other than English 274,316
Speak English "very well"
225,153
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
49,163
Speak Spanish 162,421
Speak English "very well"
136,223
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
26,198
Ages 18-64 4,709,665
Speak only English 3,698,988
Speak language other than English 1,010,677
Speak English "very well"
612,993
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
397,684
Speak Spanish 415,755
Speak English "very well"
224,110
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
191,645
65 and Older 1,163,987
Speak only English 1,031,385
Speak language other than English 132,602
Speak English "very well"
54,057
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
78,545
Speak Spanish 31,412
Speak English "very well"
13,932
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
17,480
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 77.2%
Speak language other than English 22.8%
Speak English "very well" 18.7%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.1%
Speak Spanish 13.5%
Speak English "very well" 11.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 2.2%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 78.5%
Speak language other than English 21.5%
Speak English "very well" 13.0%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 8.4%
Speak Spanish 8.8%
Speak English "very well" 4.8%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 4.1%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 88.6%
Speak language other than English 11.4%
Speak English "very well" 4.6%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 6.7%
Speak Spanish 2.7%
Speak English "very well" 1.2%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 1.5%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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 7,077,397
Speak only English 5,659,802
Speak language other than English 1,417,595
Spanish 609,588
Speak English "very well" 374,265
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 235,323
French (Including Cajun) 23,834
Speak English "very well" 20,839
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,995
Haitian 774
Speak English "very well" 713
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 61
Italian 5,723
Speak English "very well" 4,881
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 842
Portuguese 10,707
Speak English "very well" 7,963
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,744
German 26,786
Speak English "very well" 24,546
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,240
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 4,018
Speak English "very well" 3,724
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 294
Russian 55,536
Speak English "very well" 32,438
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 23,098
Polish 6,713
Speak English "very well" 4,261
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,452
Other Slavic Languages 31,435
Speak English "very well" 19,333
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 12,102
Armenian 955
Speak English "very well" 722
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 233
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 10,404
Speak English "very well" 6,220
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,184
Gujarati 2,772
Speak English "very well" 2,382
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 390
Hindi 33,041
Speak English "very well" 27,705
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,336
Urdu 7,119
Speak English "very well" 6,206
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 913
Punjabi 20,252
Speak English "very well" 13,323
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 6,929
Bengali 4,281
Speak English "very well" 4,031
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 250
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 10,449
Speak English "very well" 8,287
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,162
Other Indo-European Languages 22,325
Speak English "very well" 17,438
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,887
Telugu 13,103
Speak English "very well" 10,814
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,289
Tamil 9,582
Speak English "very well" 8,576
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,006
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 9,813
Speak English "very well" 8,375
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,438
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 117,545
Speak English "very well" 61,625
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 55,920
Japanese 28,614
Speak English "very well" 19,378
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 9,236
Korean 51,240
Speak English "very well" 25,930
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 25,310
Hmong 1,522
Speak English "very well" 787
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 735
Vietnamese 71,213
Speak English "very well" 28,615
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 42,598
Khmer 17,301
Speak English "very well" 9,612
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 7,689
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 12,484
Speak English "very well" 6,192
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 6,292
Other Languages of Asia 10,301
Speak English "very well" 7,126
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,175
Tagalog (including Filipino) 56,207
Speak English "very well" 39,418
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,789
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 33,772
Speak English "very well" 25,917
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 7,855
Arabic 18,989
Speak English "very well" 11,666
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 7,323
Hebrew 3,135
Speak English "very well" 2,633
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 502
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 47,663
Speak English "very well" 26,078
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 21,585
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 4,245
Speak English "very well" 3,393
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 852
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 15,130
Speak English "very well" 9,875
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,255
Native Languages of North America 2,881
Speak English "very well" 2,480
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 401
Other and Unspecified Languages 6,143
Speak English "very well" 4,436
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,707
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 80.0%
Field 308 20.0%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 61.4%
Field 310 38.6%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 87.4%
Field 315 12.6%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 92.1%
Field 316 7.9%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 85.3%
Field 319 14.7%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 74.4%
Field 322 25.6%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 91.6%
Field 325 8.4%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 92.7%
Field 328 7.3%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 58.4%
Field 331 41.6%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 63.5%
Field 334 36.5%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 61.5%
Field 337 38.5%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 75.6%
Field 340 24.4%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 59.8%
Field 343 40.2%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 85.9%
Field 346 14.1%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 83.9%
Field 349 16.1%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 87.2%
Field 352 12.8%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 65.8%
Field 355 34.2%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 94.2%
Field 358 5.8%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 79.3%
Field 361 20.7%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 78.1%
Field 364 21.9%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 82.5%
Field 367 17.5%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 89.5%
Field 370 10.5%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 85.3%
Field 373 14.7%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 52.4%
Field 376 47.6%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 67.7%
Field 379 32.3%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 50.6%
Field 382 49.4%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 51.7%
Field 385 48.3%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 40.2%
Field 388 59.8%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 55.6%
Field 391 44.4%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 49.6%
Field 394 50.4%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 69.2%
Field 397 30.8%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 70.1%
Field 400 29.9%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 76.7%
Field 403 23.3%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 61.4%
Field 406 38.6%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 84.0%
Field 409 16.0%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 54.7%
Field 412 45.3%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 79.9%
Field 415 20.1%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 65.3%
Field 418 34.7%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 86.1%
Field 421 13.9%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 72.2%
Field 424 27.8%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 957,609
Less than high school diploma 21.9%
High school diploma or GED 19.0%
Some college or associate's degree 21.0%
Bachelor's degree 20.6%
Graduate or professional degree 17.5%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 48.0%
Bachelor's degree or higher 19.1%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2018 47.5%
% change: 1990-2000 78.6%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2018 189.5%
% change: 1990-2000 122.2%
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 (%) 496,574
Less than high school diploma 15%
High school diploma or GED 20.3%
Some college or associate's degree 25.7%
Bachelor's degree 22.3%
Graduate or professional degree 16.6%
Noncitizens (%) 461,035
Less than high school diploma 29.4%
High school diploma or GED 17.6%
Some college or associate's degree 15.9%
Bachelor's degree 18.7%
Graduate or professional degree 18.5%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 4,257,454
Less than high school diploma 5.3%
High school diploma or GED 22.4%
Some college or associate's degree 35.9%
Bachelor's degree 23.3%
Graduate or professional degree 13.1%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -35.6%
% change: 1990-2000 -17.3%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 65.0%
% change: 1990-2000 43.1%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 472,158
Less than high school diploma 30.2%
High school diploma or GED 19.7%
Some college or associate's degree 23.4%
Bachelor's degree 16.5%
Graduate or professional degree 10.1%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 28.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher 11.8%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 3,352,017
Less than high school diploma 10.5%
High school diploma or GED 25.7%
Some college or associate's degree 35.8%
Bachelor's degree 18.7%
Graduate or professional degree 9.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 251,595
Less than high school diploma 31.7%
High school diploma or GED 21.3%
Some college or associate's degree 24.5%
Bachelor's degree 14.3%
Graduate or professional degree 8.3%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 15.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher 8.0%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 2,859,603
Less than high school diploma 14.9%
High school diploma or GED 28.5%
Some college or associate's degree 33.6%
Bachelor's degree 16.0%
Graduate or professional degree 6.9%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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.