Contact: Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
A U.S. Census Bureau report released today says that there were 1.1 million people who spoke Korean at home in 2011. Korean was one of eight languages spoken by at least 1 million people.
Language Use in the United States: 2011 uses data from the American Community Survey to show that the number of Korean speakers in the U.S. grew by 327 percent from 1980 to 2010. (In 1980, fewer than 300,000 people spoke Korean.) Among the nation's Korean speakers in 2011, 45 percent also spoke English "very well." The accompanying 2011 Language Mapper uses data collected during the American Community Survey from 2007 to 2011 to illustrate the geographic concentration of the population speaking Korean at home. There are heavy concentrations of Korean speakers in the Los Angeles (254,000), New York (170,000) and Washington (65,000) metro areas.
Overall, the percentage of people in the U.S. speaking a language other than English at home went from 17.9 percent in 2000 to 19.7 percent in 2007, while continuing upward to 20.8 percent in 2011. The percent speaking English less than "very well" grew from 8.1 percent in 2000 to 8.7 percent in 2011.
To access the full news release, see <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb13-143.html>. You may access the report and mapper tool at <http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/language/>.
The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about people and housing for every community across the nation. The results are used by everyone from town and city planners to retailers and homebuilders. The survey is the only source of local statistics for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as education, occupation, language, ancestry and housing costs for even the smallest communities. The Census Bureau conducts a variety of household and business surveys by telephone, in-person interviews, through the mail, and by Internet. The Census Bureau is committed to protecting privacy and confidentiality. Participating in the American Community Survey is an opportunity to give back to the community.