Population in Limited English Households

This indicator reports the percentage of the population aged 5 and older living in Limited English speaking households. A “Limited English speaking household” is one in which no member 14 years old and over (1) speaks only English at home or (2) speaks a language other than English at home and speaks English “Very well.” This indicator is significant as it identifies households and populations that may need English-language assistance.
Report Area Total Population Age 5+ Linguistically Isolated Population Percent Linguistically Isolated Population
Franklin County, PA 142,700 2,034 1.43%
Pennsylvania 12,061,898 273,804 2.27%
United States 296,603,003 13,540,408 4.57%
Note: This indicator is compared with the state average.
Data Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey. 2011-15. Source geography: Tract
Website Updated December 11 2017 Site Reviewed January 05 2018

Linguistically Isolated Population

Data Background

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide, continuous survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, housing, social, and economic data. The ACS samples nearly 3 million addresses each year, resulting in nearly 2 million final interviews. The ACS replaces the long-form decennial census; however, the number of household surveys reported annually for the ACS is significantly less than the number reported in the long-form decennial census. As a result, the ACS combines detailed population and housing data from multiple years to produce reliable estimates for small counties, neighborhoods, and other local areas. Negotiating between timeliness and accuracy, the ACS annually releases current, one-year estimates for geographic areas with large populations; three-year and five-year estimates are also released each year for additional areas based on minimum population thresholds.

Citation: U.S. Census Bureau: A Compass for Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data (2008).

For more information about this source, including data collection methodology and definitions, refer to the American Community Survey website.


Population counts for population by language proficiency and total area population data are acquired from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Data represent estimates for the 5 year period 2010-2015. Mapped data are summarized to 2010 census tract boundaries. Persons are considered to have limited English proficiency they indicated that they spoke a language other than English, and if they spoke English less than "very well". Persons are considered to live in linguistically isolated households if no one aged 14 and over in the households speaks English only or speaks a language other than English at home and speaks English “very well” Area demographic statistics are measured as a percentage of the total population aged 5+ based on the following formula:
Percentage = [Subgroup Population] / [Total Population] * 100

For more information on the data reported in the American Community Survey, please see the complete American Community Survey 2015 Subject Definitions.


Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity (Hispanic origin) are collected as two separate categories in the American Community Survey (ACS) based on methods established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1997. Indicator race and ethnicity statistics are generated from self-identified survey responses. Using the OMB standard, the available race categories in the ACS are: White, Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, and Other. An ACS survey respondent may identify as one race alone, or may choose multiple races. Respondents selecting multiple categories are racially identified as “Two or More Races”. The minimum ethnicity categories are: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino. Respondents may only choose one ethnicity. All social and economic data are reported in the ACS public use files by race alone, ethnicity alone, and for the white non-Hispanic population.

Data Limitations
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) was included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have age and sex distributions that are very different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on demographic distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population (like areas with military bases, colleges, or jails).

Courtesy: Community Commons, <www.communitycommons.org>, October 2017