What is linguistic isolation?
Linguistic isolation is a term used by the US Census Bureau for limited English speaking households. More than 40 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home. About half of those do not speak English well or at all.
Why is this indicator included in CalEnviroScreen?
- Californians speak more than 40 different languages at home.
- Adults who are not able to speak English well often have trouble talking to the people who provide social services and medical care. As a result, they might not get the health care and information they need.
- Linguistically isolated households may not hear or understand important information when there is an emergency like an accidental chemical release or spill.
How is linguistic isolation measured in CalEnviroScreen 3.0?
- The US Census Bureau's American Community Survey maintains information on the rate of linguistic isolation in different areas in California.
- The indicator is the percent of limited speaking households, which are households where no one over age 14 speaks English well.
- The data are from the years 2011-2015.
- A complete description of the Educational Attainment indicator can be found in the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 report.
Where can I find more information about linguistic isolation?
- Public Policy Institute of California fact sheet: English Proficiency of Immigrants
- Stanford University, Californians’ Use of English and Other Languages
- US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, Language Use in the United States: 2011