Uso del lenguaje

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Language Use in the United States: 2007
American Community Survey Reports

Issued April 2010

ACS-12

INTRODUCTION
This report provides information on the number and characteristics of people in the United States in 2007 who spoke a language other than English at home. While the vast majority of the population 5 years old and over in the United States spoke only English at home (80percent), the population speaking a language other than English at home has increased steadily for the last three decades. The number of speakers increased for many nonEnglish languages, but not all. This changing landscape of speakers of nonEnglish languages in the United States is highlighted in this report. Figure 1.

Reproduction of the Questions on Language From the 2007 American Community SurveyBy Hyon B. Shin and Robert A. Kominski

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey.

Data from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) are used to describe the language use of the U.S. population aged 5 and over. Responses to language and Englishspeaking ability questions that were historically collected once every 10 years in the decennial census are now captured everyyear in the ACS. As Appendix A (at the end of this report) shows, questions about language have varied greatly over time. Since the 1980 decennial census, however, the same series of three questions has

been used in U.S. Census Bureau data collections (see Figure 1). The first question pertains to everyone 5 years old and over. It asks if the person speaks a language other than English at home. Aperson who responds “yes” to this question is then asked to report the language. The Census Bureau codes these responses into 381 detailed languages. The third question asks “how well” that person speaks English, with answer categories of “very well,” “well,” “not well,” and “not at all.” Data on speakers of languages other than English and on their Englishspeaking ability provide more thanUSCENSUSBUREAU
Helping You Make Informed Decisions

U.S. Department of Commerce
Economics and Statistics Administration
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU

Table 1.

Population 5 Years and Older Who Spoke a Language Other Than English at Home by Language Group and English-Speaking Ability: 2007
(For information on confidentiality protection, sampling error, nonsampling error, and definitions, seewww.census.gov/acs/www/) English-speaking ability Characteristic Total people NUMBER Population 5 years and older . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spoke only English at home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spoke a language other than English at home . . . . . . . . . . Spoke a language other than English at home. . . . . . . . Spanish or Spanish Creole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . Other Indo-European languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Asian and Pacific Island languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PERCENT Population 5 years and older . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spoke only English at home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spoke alanguage other than English at home . . . . . . . . . . Spoke a language other than English at home. . . . . . . . Spanish or Spanish Creole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other Indo-European languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Asian and Pacific Island languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(X) Not applicable. Note: Margins of error for all estimates can be found in Appendix Table 1 at . For more information on the ACS, see . Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey.

Very well (X) (X) 30,975,474 30,975,474 18,179,530 6,936,808 4,274,794 1,584,342

Well (X) (X) 10,962,722 10,962,722 6,322,170 2,018,148 2,176,180 446,224

Not well (X) (X) 9,011,298...
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