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This user note is for the detailed table package titled "Detailed Languages Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over: 2006-2008." These tables are available here. The tables are available for the nation, each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
The ACS 2006-2008 multi-year data are used to list all languages spoken in the United States that were reported during the sample period. These tables provide detailed counts of many more languages than the 39 languages and language groups that are published annually as a part of the routine ACS data release. This is the first tabulation beyond 39 languages since ACS began.
The tables include all languages that were reported in the nation and each state during the 2006 to 2008 sampling period. For the purpose of tabulation, reported languages are classified in one of 380 possible languages or language groups. Because the data are a sample of the total population, there may be languages spoken that are not reported, either because we did not sample the households where those languages are spoken, or because the person filling out the survey did not report the language, or reported another language instead.
The tables also provide information about self-reported English-speaking ability. Respondents who reported that a household member spoke a language other than English were asked to indicate their ability to speak English in one of the following categories: "Very well," "Well," "Not well," or "Not at all." The data on ability to speak English represent the personís own perception about his or her own ability or, because ACS questionnaires are usually completed by one household member, the responses may represent the perception of another household member.