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SSM2015-02
Jennifer Leeman
Component ID: #ti1894834616

Abstract

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) is the primary source of data on languages spoken in the U.S. Respondent s are asked a three-part language question for all household members five years old or older. The first part of the question asks whether the person speaks a non-English language in the home. For those who do, respondents are asked to specify the language and then to report how well the individual speaks English (Very well, Well, Not well, Not at all). ACS language data are central to the implementation of federal language policy, including the language minority provisions of the Voting Rights Act and Executive Order 13166, which requires federal agencies to take “reasonable steps” to provide Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals “meaningful access” to programs and activities, and they are also widely used by researchers and commercial entities.

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