Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Chapter 1: Demographic Context

Indicator 4: Language Minority School-Age Children

In 2010, the percentage of school-age children who spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English with difficulty was higher for Hispanics (16 percent) and Asians (15 percent) than for Alaska Natives (7 percent), Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (5 percent), American Indians (2 percent),children of two or more races (2 percent),Whites (1 percent), and Blacks (1 percent).

In 2010, some 11.8 million school-age children (children ages 5 to 17), making up 22 percent of the total school-age population, spoke a language other than English at home; among them, 2.7 million (5 percent of the school-age population) spoke English with difficulty. Specifically, about 7 percent of children ages 59 and 4 percent of children ages 1017 spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English with difficulty.

In 2010, the percentage of school-age children who spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English with difficulty was higher for Hispanics (16 percent) and Asians (15 percent) than for Alaska Natives (7 percent), Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (5 percent), American Indians (2 percent), children of two or more races (2 percent), Whites (1 percent), and Blacks (1 percent). These racial/ethnic differences were also observed for males as well as females. Specifically, among male school-age children, 16 percent each of Hispanics and Asians spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English with difficulty, compared with 6 percent of Alaska Natives, 4 percent of Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islanders, 2 percent of males of two or more races, and 1 percent each of Whites, Blacks, and American Indians. Among female school-age children, 15 percent of Hispanics and 14 percent of Asians spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English with difficulty, compared with 9 percent of Alaska Natives, 5 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, 2 percent each of American Indians and female children of two or more races, and 1 percent each of Whites and Blacks.

A higher percentage of males than females spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English with difficulty, although the difference was less than 1 percentage point. The percentage of school-age children who spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English with difficulty was higher for Asian males than Asian females (16 vs. 14 percent). This difference was also observed between Hispanic males and Hispanic females (16 vs. 15 percent). No measurable differences were found between males and females within other racial/ethnic groups. In addition, a higher percentage of Hispanic school-age children born outside of the United States spoke a non-English language at home and spoke English with difficulty than did their counterparts born within the United States (35 vs. 13 percent).

Technical Notes

Respondents were asked whether each child in the household spoke a language other than English at home. If they answered "yes," they were asked how well each child could speak English using the following categories: "very well," "well," "not well," and "not at all." All children who were reported to speak English less than "very well" were considered to have difficulty speaking English. A Spanish-language version of the American Community Survey (ACS) was available to respondents.


Figure 4-1. Percentage of children ages 517 who spoke a language other than English at home and who spoke English with difficulty, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2010

Table E-4-1 Number and percentage of children ages 517 who spoke a language other than English at home and who spoke English with difficulty, by sex, race/ethnicity, and nativity: 2010

Top


  
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.