Change Indicator

Children who have difficulty speaking English in Arizona

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Definition and Source



Children age 5-17 who speak English less than "well."
Ability to Speak English – Respondents who reported speaking a language other than English were asked to indicate their English-speaking ability based on one of the following categories: “Very well,” “Well,” “Not well,” or “Not at all.” Ideally, the data on ability to speak English represented a person’s perception of their own English-speaking ability. However, because one household member usually completes American Community Survey questionnaires, the responses may have represented the perception of another household member.

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (5 year estimates);Table B16004 AGE BY LANGUAGE SPOKEN AT HOME BY ABILITY TO SPEAK ENGLISH FOR THE POPULATION 5 YEARS AND OVER  


Limitation of the Data – The language question is about current use of a non-English language, not about ability to speak another language or the use of such a language in the past. People who speak a language other than English outside of the home are not reported as speaking a language other than English. Similarly, people whose mother tongue is a non-English language but who do not currently use the language at home do not report the language. Some people who speak a language other than English at home may have first learned that language in school. These people are expected to indicate speaking English “Very well.” The detail in which language names are coded may give a false impression of the linguistic precision of these data. The identifying names used by speakers of a language may reflect ethnic, geographic, or political affiliations, and are not necessarily identical to official linguistic distinctions. Although there are more than 6,000 languages in the world, the Census Bureau codes all reported languages into approximately 380 categories. Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations may have ability to speak English and language spoken at home distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the ability to speak English and language spoken at home distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population. 

In order to get estimates for places in Arizona with smaller populations we have used the American Community Survey 3 and 5 year estimates, when available.

The American Community Survey is based on sample sizes and the numbers presented in this indicator are just estimates and are not to be taken as accurate counts.

S - Estimates suppressed when the confidence interval around the percentage is greater than or equal to 10 percentage points.
N/A - Data not available

The Census Bureau recommends that you:
DO compare similar period lengths, for example, 3-year to 3-year.
DON'T compare estimates from different period lengths, for example, 1-year to 3-year.
DO compare estimates from non-overlapping periods, for example, compare a 2005-2007 ACS 3-year estimate to a 2008-2010 ACS 3-year estimate.
DON'T compare overlapping periods, for example, the 2005-2007 ACS 3-year estimates to the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year estimates.

Last Updated

September 2020