Young Dual Language Learners in the United States and by State


Young Dual Language Learners in the United States and by State

Dual Language Learners (DLLs) are young children who have at least one parent who speaks a language other than English at home, meaning that they have the potential to develop as multilingual and multiliterate individuals, given appropriate support. More than 10.8 million young children, or 32 percent of all U.S. children under the age of 9, are DLLs. This large and growing population brings valuable linguistic and cultural assets, yet is also disproportionately likely to face multiple risk factors that make these children important targets for early learning and other services.

The map and ranked table below display states by the number of DLLs, the DLL share of all children, or the share of DLL children in low-income families in the 2018-2022 period for the following age groups: 0 to 8, 0 to 5, 0 to 2, 0 to 3, 0 to 4, 5 to 8, and 6 to 8. Use the dropdown menus to select the age group of interest and to view the top 15 states ranked by one of the three indicators. Hover over a state to display all data.

For detailed sociodemographic profiles of DLLs and their families at U.S. and state levels, check out our spreadsheets with data on children ages 0-5 and children ages 0-8.


Data refer to children (including those with same-sex parents) residing in homes with at least one parent present and for whom poverty status is determined in the data. Low-income families are families with annual incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.


Migration Policy Institute tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2018-2022 American Community Survey.