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Saturday, May 15, 2010

2008 ACS Data Tool: Language & Education Characteristics

We are pleased to be able to share with you the most up-to-date language and education characteristics of immigrants and the native born in each state and the United States overall. For our updated Fact Sheets, simply go to the 2008 ACS/Census tool, select a state, and then choose the "Language & Education Characteristics" fact sheet.

The remaining two Fact Sheets on the foreign born - covering workforce and income & poverty statistics - also will be updated with data from the 2008 American Community Survey in the coming months.

The "Language & Education Characteristics" Fact Sheets allow you to find out many interesting statistics about immigrants (i.e., persons with no US citizenship at birth; aka the foreign born):

* In 2008, 52.1 percent of the 37.7 million immigrants age 5 and older living in the United States were limited English proficient (LEP), which is defined as persons age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well." Nearly two-thirds of all foreign born who were LEP in 2008 resided in California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois.

* The foreign-born LEP population grew more than 60 percent between 2000 and 2008 in South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri, and Nevada. In comparison, the size of the national immigrant LEP population increased 25.3 percent during the same period.

* Naturalized US citizens were much less likely to be limited English proficient than noncitizens, 39.1 percent compared to 62.0 percent.

* Among immigrant adults, 27.1 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher compared to 27.8 percent for the native born. In contrast, the share of adults with less than a high school diploma was much higher among the foreign born (32.5 percent) than among the native born (11.7 percent).

* Foreign-born adults in the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and Maryland were significantly more educated (41 percent or more had at least a bachelor's degree) than foreign-born adults in rest of the nation (27.1 percent). In contrast, half of the foreign-born adults in New Mexico had no high school diploma.

For more information, go to the 2008 ACS/Census tool and select the desired state.

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