Limited-English Proficiency: LEP Populations by U.S. State (Infographic)

The United States draws people from many countries around the world we have never been more linguistically diverse. In fact, The U.S. Census Bureau Reports at Least 350 Languages Spoken are in U.S. Homes. While some U.S. cities (like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles) have higher LEP populations, there are approximately 25.1 million Limited English Proficient individuals across the United States.

Who is Limited English Proficient? Individuals who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be limited English proficient, or “LEP.” These individuals may report speaking English less than “very well.” Organizations working with LEP populations may offer language services in order to communicate effectively with people of different languages and cultures.

Although many people who speak a language other than English at home may speak English “very well,” approximately 8% of the United States population, both foreign and U.S. born, are considered Limited English Proficient.

The following infographic will help you gain a better understanding of LEP populations by U.S. state.
 

Infographic: LEP Populations by U.S. State – Ages 5 and Older (2016)

 

LEP Populations by State, Broken Down by U.S. Born and Foreign-Born

(Source: Migration Policy Institute)

 

Alabama

Foreign-Born Population: 162,248

LEP Share: 45.6%

U.S. Born Population: 4,414,409

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 96,057

 

Alaska

Foreign-Born Population: 56,964

LEP Share: 46%

U.S. Born Population: 632,435

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 29,365

 

Arizona

Foreign-Born Population: 928,317

LEP Share: 47.6%

U.S. Born Population: 5,566,432

LEP Share: 2.4%

LEP Population: 575,473

 

Arkansas

Foreign-Born Population: 137,200

LEP Share: 51.2%

U.S. Born Population: 2,662,332

LEP Share: 0.6%

LEP Population: 86,220

 

California

Foreign-Born Population: 10,615,712

LEP Share: 55.4%

U.S. Born Population: 26,151,883

LEP Share: 3.7%

LEP Population: 6,848,724

 

Colorado

Foreign-Born Population: 538,810

LEP Share: 47.8%

U.S. Born Population: 4,666,664

LEP Share: 1.2%

LEP Population: 313,551  

 

Connecticut

Foreign-Born Population: 509,720

LEP Share: 37.7%

U.S. Born Population: 2,881,703

LEP Share: 2.7%

LEP Population: 269,970

 

Delaware

Foreign-Born Population: 88,687

LEP Share: 37.8%

U.S. Born Population: 808,137

LEP Share: 1.0%

LEP Population: 41,605

 

Florida

Foreign-Born Population: 4,211,520

LEP Share: 46.6%

U.S. Born Population: 15,283,452

LEP Share: 2.5%

LEP Population: 2,344,654

 

Georgia

Foreign-Born Population: 1,028,650

LEP Share: 45.9%

U.S. Born Population: 8,626,843

LEP Share: 0.9%

LEP Population: 549,792

 

Hawaii

Foreign-Born Population: 260,933

LEP Share: 51.4%

U.S. Born Population: 1,076,902

LEP Share: 2.7%

LEP Population: 163,196

 

Idaho

Foreign-Born Population: 97,660

LEP Share: 49.5%

U.S. Born Population: 1,471,337

LEP Share: 1.2%

LEP Population: 65,998

 

Illinois

Foreign-Born Population: 1,772,731

LEP Share: 49.9%

U.S. Born Population: 10,259,318

LEP Share: 1.5%

LEP Population: 1,038,483

 

Indiana

Foreign-Born Population: 344,837

LEP Share: 45.3%

U.S. Born Population: 5,867,849

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 203,154

 

Iowa

Foreign-Born Population: 158,695

LEP Share: 50.7%

U.S. Born Population: 2,778,511

LEP Share: 0.7%

LEP Population: 99,908

 

Kansas

Foreign-Born Population: 204,281

LEP Share: 52.9%

U.S. Born Population: 2,505,602

LEP Share: 0.7%

LEP Population: 125,604

 

Kentucky

Foreign-Born Population: 154,172

LEP Share: 48%

U.S. Born Population: 4,009,853

LEP Share: 0.4%

LEP Population: 91,641

 

Louisiana

Foreign-Born Population: 188,096

LEP Share: 47.4%

U.S. Born Population: 4,186,607

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 122,651

 

Maine

Foreign-Born Population: 50,159

LEP Share: 30.1%

U.S. Born Population: 1,217,379

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 21,185

 

Maryland

Foreign-Born Population: 913,373

LEP Share: 38.4%

U.S. Born Population: 4,740,179

LEP Share: 1.0%

LEP Population: 398,137

 

Massachusetts

Foreign-Born Population: 1,114,360

LEP Share: 43.0%

U.S. Born Population: 5,337,645

LEP Share: 2.1%

LEP Population: 591,266

 

Michigan

Foreign-Born Population: 656,544

LEP Share: 41.5%

U.S. Born Population: 8,700,093

LEP Share: 0.7%

LEP Population: 333,367

 

Minnesota

Foreign-Born Population: 446,658

LEP Share: 45.3%

U.S. Born Population: 4,722,214

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 240,114

 

Mississippi

Foreign-Born Population: 58,135

LEP Share: 42.5%

U.S. Born Population: 2,743,761

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 38,426

 

Missouri

Foreign-Born Population: 247,281

LEP Share: 39.5%

U.S. Born Population: 5,474,187

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 125,047

 

Montana

Foreign-Born Population: 21,790

LEP Share: 15.5%

U.S. Born Population: 959,587

LEP Share: 0.4%

LEP Population: 7,216

 

Nebraska

Foreign-Born Population: 132,414

LEP Share: 59.4%

U.S. Born Population: 1,642,545

LEP Share: 1.0%

LEP Population: 95,079

 

Nevada

Foreign-Born Population: 584,059

LEP Share: 48.6%

U.S. Born Population: 2,172,638

LEP Share: 1.8%

LEP Population: 322,961

 

New Hampshire

Foreign-Born Population: 75,375

LEP Share: 35%

U.S. Born Population: 1,194,942

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 32,365

 

New Jersey

Foreign-Born Population: 2,003,155

LEP Share: 45.2%

U.S. Born Population: 6,421,144

LEP Share: 2.4%

LEP Population: 1,059,533

 

New Mexico

Foreign-Born Population: 197,547

LEP Share: 51.4%

U.S. Born Population: 1,758,342

LEP Share: 3.5%

LEP Population: 163,081

 

New York

Foreign-Born Population: 4,512,221

LEP Share: 46.7%

U.S. Born Population: 14,074,049

LEP Share: 3.2%

LEP Population: 2,557,577

 

North Carolina

Foreign-Born Population: 782,406

LEP Share: 46.3%

U.S. Born Population: 8,769,789

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 432,412

 

North Dakota

Foreign-Born Population: 24,359

LEP Share: 30.3%

U.S. Born Population: 678,696

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 12,811

 

Ohio

Foreign-Born Population: 508,158

LEP Share: 37.2%

U.S. Born Population: 10,413,470

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 272,343

 

Oklahoma

Foreign-Born Population: 226,749

LEP Share: 51.4%

U.S. Born Population: 3,432,716

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 144,011

 

U.S. Languages with over 100,000 SpeakersOregon

Foreign-Born Population: 391,299

LEP Share: 47.6%

U.S. Born Population: 3,467,584

LEP Share: 1.2%

LEP Population: 403,865

 

Pennsylvania

Foreign-Born Population: 861,782

LEP Share: 42.0%

U.S. Born Population: 11,212,702

LEP Share: 1.5%

LEP Population: 530,139

 

Rhode Island

Foreign-Born Population: 146,669

LEP Share: 45.9%

U.S. Born Population: 855,613

LEP Share: 2.0%

LEP Population: 84,433

 

South Carolina

Foreign-Born Population: 235,798

LEP Share: 42.4%

U.S. Born Population: 4,435,309

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 122,155

 

South Dakota

Foreign-Born Population: 30,162

LEP Share: 46.2%

U.S. Born Population: 774,400

LEP Share: 0.6%

LEP Population: 18,581

 

Tennessee

Foreign-Born Population: 316,516

LEP Share: 46.7%

U.S. Born Population: 5,930,510

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 177,466

 

Texas

Foreign-Born Population: 4,691,339

LEP Share: 57.0%

U.S. Born Population: 21,164,346

LEP Share: 4.5%

LEP Population: 3,626,459

 

Utah

Foreign-Born Population: 250,580

LEP Share: 45.2%

U.S. Born Population: 2,547,215

LEP Share: 1.0%

LEP Population: 138,734

 

Vermont

Foreign-Born Population: 28,008

LEP Share: 22.6%

U.S. Born Population: 566,122

LEP Share: 0.2%

LEP Population: 7,462

 

Virginia

Foreign-Born Population: 1,022,627

LEP Share: 41.0%

U.S. Born Population: 6,885,399

LEP Share: 0.8%

LEP Population: 474,360

 

Washington

Foreign-Born Population: 1,013,000

LEP Share: 44.3%

U.S. Born Population: 5,825,056

LEP Share: 1.3%

LEP Population: 524,485

 

West Virginia

Foreign-Born Population: 31,532

LEP Share: 26.1%

U.S. Born Population: 1,697,902

LEP Share: 0.3%

LEP Population: 13,324

 

Wisconsin

Foreign-Born Population: 286,261

LEP Share: 43.6%

U.S. Born Population: 5,158,357

LEP Share: 1.0%

LEP Population: 176,394

 

Wyoming

Foreign-Born Population: 18,670

LEP Share: 44.6%

U.S. Born Population: 528,958

LEP Share: 0.5%

LEP Population: 10,972

 

Language support is key for organizations work with LEP populations. With the growing number of limited-English speakers if the United States, interpreters and translators are valuable assets in removing language barriers for millions of Americans. From medical interpreting to legal translation, from business to 911 emergency, professional interpreters and translators help provide effective communication.

 

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