Thursday, August 15, 2013

Census Bureau releases language mapper tool

Individuals Speaking Spanish in the Home
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released an interactive, online map pinpointing the wide array of languages spoken in homes across the nation, along with a detailed report on rates of English proficiency and the growing number of speakers of other languages. In concert with the release of this new tool, the Census Bureau also released a new report on Language Use in the United States, 2011. 

  • Data from the American Community Survey show that roughly 380,000 Utahns over the age of five speak a language other than English in the home—15 percent of the population.
  • Of these individuals, 36 percent spoke English less than “very well.” Slightly more than 4 percent did not speak English at all.
  • Nationally, 21 percent of the population speaks a language other than English at home. States with high shares of non-English speaking populations include California (44 percent), New Mexico (37 percent), Texas (35 percent), New Jersey (31 percent) and New York (30 percent). These states tend to have large Hispanic/Latino or immigrant populations.
  • States with the lowest shares of non-English speakers (in the home) include Kentucky (5 percent), Montana (5 percent), North Dakota (5 percent), Vermont (5 percent), Mississippi (4 percent) and West Virginia (2 percent). 

Individuals Speaking Chinese in the Home
The 2011 Language Mapper  shows where people speaking specific languages other than English live, with dots representing how many people speak each of 15 different languages. The tool uses data collected through the American Community Survey from 2007 to 2011. The mapping tool also allows mapping for those who speak English less than “very well”—a measure of English proficiency.

The screenshot showing Utah and the surrounding area shows concentrations of Spanish speakers. The “zoomed-in” map of the Salt Lake City and surroundings shows concentrations of those who speak Chinese in the home.