E.g., 11/01/2014
E.g., 11/01/2014

Limited English Proficient Individuals in the United States: Number, Share, Growth, and Linguistic Diversity

Fact Sheets
December 2011

Limited English Proficient Individuals in the United States: Number, Share, Growth, and Linguistic Diversity

The number of U.S. residents who are deemed to be Limited English Proficient (LEP) has increased substantially in recent decades, consistent with the growth of the U.S. foreign-born population. LEP individuals now represent 9 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 25 million individuals. As significant numbers of immigrants have opted to settle in nontraditional destinations across the United States, an increasing number of states and localities must grapple with issues of communication and English language learning.

This fact sheet offers analysis on the number, share, growth, and linguistic diversity of LEP individuals in the United States from 1990 to 2010 at national, state, and metropolitan-area levels, providing maps and state-level data.

Download underlying population data here
Download underlying linguistic data here.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. Number and Share: LEP Individuals Account for 9 Percent of the U.S. Population and Primarily Reside in Six States

III. Growth: The US LEP Population Increased by 80 Percent from 1990 to 2010

IV. Linguistic Concentration: Most LEP Individuals Speak Spanish

V. Linguistic Changes Over Time

VI. Linguistic Diversity: Variation in Languages Spoken at National, State, and Metropolitan-Area Levels