MPI Limited English Proficient Census Data and MPI LEP Data Brief

Migration Policy Institute National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy

"Today, 25.2 million individuals over the age of 5 in the United States (9 percent of the total population) have limited proficiency in English, compared with 14 million (6 percent of the total population) in 1990. This growth has been accompanied by a broad-ranging dispersal of immigrants and refugees to dozens of states and hundreds of counties across the United States. The National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy has compiled this data to assist the array of stakeholders who are working to address language access issues at the county level."

The Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy has compiled data from the American Community Survey from 2007-2011 on number, share and linguistic diversity of LEP populations. Click on the link to access national, state-, and county-level data through MPI's website. The Excel document with detailed data on national, state and county level is also attached. Using this data, MPI published a LEP Data Brief titled, "Limited English Proficient Individuals in the United States: Number, Share, Growth and Linguistic Diversity." This brief gives an overview of LEP population estimates and national trends in the LEP population across the United States over the past 20 years. This brief provides a national perspective and touches on the data from various states throughout.

Where does Massachusetts fall?

Number/Share: According to the brief, Massachusetts is ranked as one of the top ten states with the largest LEP population. 8.8% of the Massachusetts total population is LEP, which slightly exceeds the national average of 8.7%. The ACS data estimates that the Massachusetts LEP population is about 547,000 out of the total MA population which is 6,191,000.

Growth: The national average of LEP population growth from 1990 to 2010 is 80.4%. Massachusetts, at 56.7% LEP population growth from 1990-2010, falls below the national growth average.

Linguistic Diversity: Of the LEP population in MA, 393,000 LEP individuals live in the Greater Boston area. The top 5 languages spoken in MA are 1) Spanish (making up 38.3% of the total MA LEP population), 2) Portuguese, 3) Chinese, 4) Vietnamese, 5) French Creole. The top 5 languages spoken in the Greater Boston area are 1) Spanish (making up 37.2% of the total Greater Boston LEP population), 2) Portuguese, 3) Chinese, 4) French Creole, 5) Vietnamese.

Click the "Go to Website" link below to view the LEP Data Brief for more detailed information and information about how to access the ACS language data.

To access other Massachusetts state specific LEP data from 1990-2010 visit:


Attachment Size
MPI LEP National, State and Local Data.xls (7.25 MB) 7.25 MB