University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Language: Limited English-Speaking Households

About the data

Years available: 2000, 2005-–2019

Language numbers are provided for:

  • Number of limited English-speaking households, Spanish
  • Number of limited English-speaking households, other languages

Source of data: IECAM demographers prepared estimates of population based on Census Bureau estimates for the following programs or surveys:

  • Population Estimates Program
  • American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

Geographic region: These data are available for the following geographic areas: state, county, township, municipality, state Senate district, state House district, congressional district, elementary school district, unit school district, Zip Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA), Chicago Community Area, and by ISBE region and IDHS region, which are sums of counties.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines “limited English-speaking” household as one in which no member 14 years old and over (1) speaks only English or (2) speaks a non-English language and speaks English “very well.” In other words, all members 14 years old and over have at least some difficulty with English. (U.S. Census Bureau. Census 2000)

Data are based on answer to questions: “Does this person speak a language other than English at home?” and “What is this language?”

Languages are those used by U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

For children age 5, use language of child. For children under age 5, use language of mother; if no mother is present, use language of father; if no father present, use language of head of household; if no head of household present, indicate unknown. Thus, the data represent the language spoken by the child or likely being learned by the child.

The fact that a child is reported as speaking or learning one of these non-English languages does not imply that the child does not know or is not also learning English.

A full explanation of the methodology that IECAM uses to create estimates can be found on the Methodology page.

Data Report: Census Bureau Data on Languages Spoken by Children

This data report explains the three types of U.S. Census Bureau data on language diversity in Illinois, their advantages/limitations, and how they may help answer policy questions.

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