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Language Statistics: ACS (2013)

User Note for Detailed Languages Table Package

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: 2009-2013." The tables are available for the following geographies:

  • nation
  • each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico
  • counties with 100,000 or more total population and 25,000 or more speakers of languages other than English and Spanish
  • core-based statistical areas (metropolitan statistical areas and micropolitan statistical areas) with 100,000 or more total population and 25,000 or more speakers of languages other than English and Spanish

The American Community Survey (ACS) 2009-2013 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 second tabulation beyond 39 languages since ACS began.

The tables include all languages that were reported in each geography during the 2009 to 2013 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 the ACS 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 speaking 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 person’s 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.

The API version of the table package uses additional codes for population and language groups not on the detailed language list. Please see below for these codes. In addition, the API version of the table packages uses flags to denote estimates that are not available for a variety of reasons. Please see below for these flags.

  • 2013

2013 American Community Survey - Table Packages: Detailed Language Spoken in the U.S.

  • Example Call: Shows the number of Spanish speakers in 2013 in California: 


Additional language codes in API

1 Population 5 years and over
2 Speak only English
3 Speak a language other than English at home

2 French (incl. Patois, Cajun)
3 French Creole
4 Italian
5 Portuguese (incl. Portuguese Creole)
6 German (incl. Luxembourgian)
7 Yiddish
8 Other West Germanic languages
9 Scandinavian languages
10 Greek
11 Russian
12 Polish
13 Serbo-Croatian languages
14 Other Slavic languages
15 Armenian
16 Persian
17 Hindi
18 Gujarati
19 Urdu
20 Other Indic languages
21 Other Indo-European languages
22 Chinese (incl. Cantonese, Mandarin, other Chinese languages)
23 Japanese
24 Korean
25 Mon-Khmer, Cambodian
26 Hmong
27 Thai
28 Laotian
29 Vietnamese
30 Other Asian languages
31 Tagalog
32 Other Pacific Island languages
33 Navajo
34 Other Native North American languages
35 Hungarian
36 Arabic
37 Hebrew
38 African languages
39 Other and unspecified languages

Flag Description
(D) Data withheld to avoid disclosure
(B) Either no sample observations or too few sample observations were available to compute an estimate.
(X) Question does not apply.
-- Either no sample observations or too few sample observations were available to compute a standard error and thus the margin of error. A statistical test is not appropriate.

Related Information

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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