Data Cart

Your data extract

0 variables
0 samples
View Cart

Description

LANGUAGE reports the language that the respondent spoke at home, particularly (for the 1910 Puerto Rican sample and the samples from 1980 onward) if a language other than English was spoken.

Codes and Frequencies




Can't find the category you are looking for? Try the Detailed codes

Comparability

This variable contains somewhat different information in the 1910 U.S. Census than it does for the 1910 Puerto Rican census, the 1980-2000 censuses, the ACS and the PRCS. Because of these differences, users should be cautious when combining 1910 samples with the later years. The essential difference is that a person who could speak English but spoke a non-English language at home should have responded "English" in the 1910 U.S. Census, but with a non-English language in the 1910 Puerto Rican Census and beginning in 1980 samples onward. Users should also note that this variable is available for the Puerto Rican census in 2000 and the PRCS in 2005 onward, but it is not available for Puerto Rico in the 1980 or 1990 censuses.

In 1910, the question upon which LANGUAGE is based was aimed primarily at identifying English speakers. All persons able to speak English were to respond "English," even if they usually spoke another language. Only persons who could not speak English were to respond with a non-English language. (The census did not indicate how well a person had to speak English to be considered "able to speak English"). Non-English-speaking respondents who spoke more than one language were to report mother tongue.

Beginning in the 1980 U.S. census, the question was intended to identify persons who spoke any language other than English at home. Persons who spoke more than one non-English language at home were to report the language they spoke most often, or the language they learned first (see 1980 Language Spoken at Home
). Users can create a comparable universe for all years by eliminating all English speakers for later years via the SPEAKENG variable.

The 1990 census documentation noted that the extreme detail in which language names were coded in 1980 and 1990 (see 1990 Language Code List) may give a false impression of the linguistic precision of the data. The names that speakers use to identify their spoken language may sometimes reflect ethnic, geographic, or political affiliations and do not necessarily correspond to academic linguistic categories. The language codes in the 1 percent sample of the 2000 census are also very detailed. In the 5 percent sample of the 2000 census, in the ACS and the PRCS, considerably less detail is given, with many languages grouped into general geographic regions, such as "Other Asian languages," or linguistic groups, such as "Other Algonquin languages." (see 2000 5% and ACS Detailed Language Codes) In general, the content of the residual (i.e., "other") categories in the 5 percent sample of the 2000 census, the ACS and the PRCS is likely to differ from other samples. The detailed category contents for recent years can be viewed individually; see Codes, below.

Further information about language and/or mother tongue, including an introduction to all language variables in the IPUMS, is available in the variable MTONGUE (respondent's own mother tongue -- available in 1910, 1920, 1940, 1960, and 1970; note that MTONGUE is not available for Puerto Rico). All the language variables (MTONGUE, MMTONGUE, FMTONGUE, and LANGUAGE) follow the same IPUMS coding scheme.

Universe

  • 1910 Puerto Rico: Persons age 5+.
  • 1910 U.S. samples: Persons age 10+. Not available in Alaska.
  • 1930: Persons born outside of the United States.
  • 1980: Persons age 3+; not available for Puerto Rico.
  • 1990: Persons age 5+; not available for Puerto Rico.
  • 2000: Persons age 5+.
  • ACS, PRCS: Persons age 5+.

Availability

United States
  • 2016: --
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: ACS; ACS 3yr; ACS 5yr
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2004: All samples
  • 2003: All samples
  • 2002: All samples
  • 2001: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: --
  • 1960: --
  • 1950: --
  • 1940: --
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: All samples
  • 1900: --
  • 1880: --
  • 1870: --
  • 1860: --
  • 1850: --
Puerto Rico
  • 2016: --
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: PRCS; PRCS 3yr; PRCS 5yr
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: --
  • 1980: --
  • 1970: --
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: All samples

Flags

QLANGUAG 

Editing Procedure


LANGUAGE (Language Spoken) and SPEAKENG (Speaks English)

ACS Years: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

ACS editing procedure:

The question first uses a check box to ask if the respondent speaks a language other than English in their home. If they do, they are then asked what language. IPUMS combines these two questions into LANGUAGE. Respondents are also asked how well they speak English, which is variable SPEAKENG.

If a person's age (AGE) is less than 5, both LANGUAGE and SPEAKENG will be replaced with "Not in universe."

If the respondent states that they do not speak a language other than English in the checkbox and the reported language spoken (LANGUAGE) is English or missing, both LANGUAGE and SPEAKENG will be replaced with a missing value.

If a respondent has a "No" or blank value for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, but they report speaking a language other than English in LANGUAGE, the checkbox for being speaking a language other than English will be replaced with "Yes." If they also have a missing value for how well they speak English, SPEAKENG will be allocated from another person with a similar age (AGE), same ethnicity (HISPAN), same foreign born status (CITIZEN), similar year of entry (YIMMRIG), and similar language (LANGUAGE).

If a person states that they speak a language other than English in the checkbox or has a missing value, then states that they speak English when asked what language, the checkbox for speaking a language other than English will be replaced with "No" and how well they speak English (SPEAKENG) will be replaced with a missing value.

If a respondent selects "Yes" in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, and they report speaking a language other than English in LANGUAGE but they have a missing value for how well they speak English, SPEAKENG will be allocated. The allocated value will come from another person with a similar age (AGE), same ethnicity (HISPAN), same foreign born status (CITIZEN), similar year of entry (YRIMMIG), and similar language (LANGUAGE).

If a respondent selects "Yes" in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English and the respondent is native-born (CITIZEN), white non-Hispanic or black non-Hispanic (RACE, HISPAN), with a non-specific ancestry (ANCESTR1, ANCESTR2) but lists no language when asked which language they speak, and everyone else in the household is also native born, white non-Hispanic or black non-Hispanic, and also has no language listed, the checkbox will be replaced with a missing value.

If the reference person has a missing value in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English and the language they speak is missing and they are foreign born (CITIZEN), arrived in the U.S. in the last 11 years (YRIMMIG), and they have a direct relative in the household (brother/sister, father/mother, husband/wife, son/daughter) who has a "Yes" on the checkbox for speaking a language other than English, the reference person's checkbox will be replaced with "Yes." If the relative also specifies what language they speak, the reference person's language will be replaced with their relative's language. If there is no direct relative with a "Yes" on the checkbox, but there is one with a "No", the reference person's checkbox will be replaced with a "No."

If the reference person still has a missing value in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, is foreign born (CITIZEN) and a direct relative in the household has a non-missing value for the checkbox, the reference person's value will be allocated from another reference person, who is the same broad race (RACE) and ethnicity (HISPAN), foreign born status (CITIZEN), age (AGE), and who also has a direct relative of the same RELATE value, same foreign born status (CITIZEN), and same value of the checkbox.

If the reference person still has a missing value in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English and is foreign born (CITIZEN), the checkbox value will be allocated from another reference person who have a similar value for if they have other relatives in the household, when they arrived in the U.S. (YRIMMIG), age (AGE), and country of birth (BPL).

If the reference person still has a missing value in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English and is native born (CITIZEN) and other direct relatives in the household who are foreign born have a missing value as well, the checkbox will be allocated for the first member of the household encountered. The allocated value will be drawn from another person with a similar value for if they have other relatives in the household, when they arrived in the U.S. (YRIMMIG), age (AGE), and country of birth (BPL). If the checkbox is allocated as "Yes," language spoken will be allocated from another person with a similar place of birth (BPL) or similar ethnicity (HISPAN), race (RACE), and native versus foreign born status (CITIZEN).

If the reference person still has a missing value in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, is native born (CITIZEN) and a direct relative in the household has a non-missing value for the checkbox, the reference person's value will be allocated from another reference person, who is the same broad race (RACE) and ethnicity (HISPAN), foreign born status (CITIZEN), age (AGE), and who also has a direct relative of the same RELATE value, same foreign born status (CITIZEN), and same value of the checkbox.

If the reference person still has a missing value in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, is native born (CITIZEN), is Hispanic, and has no direct relatives in the household has a non-missing value for the checkbox, the reference person's value will be allocated. The allocated value will be drawn from another reference person, who is the same broad race (RACE) and ethnicity (HISPAN), similar age (AGE), and same status of whether or not they have relatives in the household.

If the reference person still has a missing value in the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, is native born (CITIZEN), is non-Hispanic, and has no direct relatives in the household has a non-missing value for the checkbox, the reference person's value will be allocated. The allocated value will be drawn from another person, who is the same broad ancestry (ANCESTR1, ANCESTR2) and same status of whether or not they have relatives in the household.

If a relative of the reference person (husband/wife, son/daughter, brother/sister, father/mother, grandchild, in-law, or other relative) has a missing value for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English it will be allocated. The allocated value will be drawn from another person with the same value of RELATE, same foreign born status (CITIZEN), similar broad race (RACE) as the person with the missing value and also who is in a household with a reference person who has the same foreign born status (CITIZEN), similar age, and value on the checkbox as the reference person in the household of the person with the missing value.

If a foreign-born non-relative (roomer/boarder, housemate/roommate, unmarried partner, foster child, or other non-relative) has a missing value for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English it will be allocated. The allocated value will be drawn from another person with a similar value for if they have other relatives in the household, when they arrived in the U.S. (YRIMMIG), age (AGE), and country of birth (BPL).

If a native-born non-relative or reference person still has a missing value for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English it will be allocated. The allocated value will be drawn from another person with a similar value for if they have other relatives in the household, race (RACE) and ethnicity (HISPAN) or ancestry (ANCESTR1, ANCESTR2), and age (AGE).

If a person answers "No" for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, both English ability and language spoken will be made "Not in universe"

If a person answers "Yes" for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, but the language spoken is missing, if there is a relative in the household who does report their language spoken, the relative's language will replace the missing value. For this step, a relative is any pair of people on the following list: reference person, brother/sister, father/mother, son/daughter, husband/wife, grandchild, in-law, other relative.

If a person answers "Yes" for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English, but the language spoken is still missing it will be allocated. The allocated value is drawn from another person with a similar race (RACE) and ethnicity (HISPAN) or ancestry (ANCESTR1, ANCESTR2), foreign born status (CITIZEN), and place of birth (BPL). For native-born people without an ancestry value, the allocated value will be based on age and race.

If a person answers "Yes" for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English and indicated they speak "Indian," further steps will be used to parse this answer. First, if there is another person in the household who reports speaking "India," the answer of "Indian" will replaced with "India." If there is another person in the household who reports speaking "American Indian," the answer of "Indian" will be replaced with "American Indian." Second, race (RACE) will be used - if the person or someone in their household reports their race as "Asian Indian," the language spoken will be replaced with "India." If the person or someone in their household reports their race as "American Indian," the language spoken will be replaced with "American Indian." Third, if the place of birth is India or reported ancestry (ANCESTR1, ANCESTR2) of the person or a household member is any type of Asian Indian, language will be replaced with "India." If ancestry of the person or a household member is "American Indian," language will be replaced with "American Indian." If after these steps, language remains "Indian," it will be allocated from another person with a similar age (AGE), place of birth (BPL), and race (RACE).

If a person answers "Yes" for the checkbox when asked if they speak a language other than English but do not report their English language ability, it will be allocated from another person with a similar age (AGE), ethnicity (HISPAN), foreign born status (CITIZEN), year of immigration (YRIMMIG), and language group (LANGUAGE).

The flag variables will indicate values of LANGUAGE and SPEAKENG were allocated (QSPEAKEN, QLANGUAG)

Internal ACS variable : LANX LAN ENG