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This report presents the number and percent of people 5-years old and over who speak Spanish at home. The age is limited to 5 and over to account for the time it takes young children to learn to speak consistently. This report does not take into account whether the foreign language speakers were born in the United States or elsewhere.

The federal government uses data on language use and English-speaking ability to determine which local areas must provide language-assistance services under the Voting Rights Act. These data are also used to allocate educational funds to states to help their schools teach students with lower levels of English proficiency.

This report uses data from the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing, national survey. The ACS replaces the Decennial Census “long form” and is now the only source for Census Bureau data on topics such as ancestry, educational attainment, income, spoken languages, migration, disability, employment, and housing features.

Vermont Insights uses 5-year ACS estimates to increase the reliability of the data for all geographic areas.

For more information on the ACS, including sampling and response rates for Vermont, see:

Census Table B16007 was used to aggregate the variable ‘Population 5-Years Old and Over Speaking Spanish’ at home from three existing census variables. This aggregate variable was used as the numerator and divided by the denominator of total population 5-years old and over in order to calculate the percent of population 5-years old and over who speak Spanish at home.

The language question is about current use of a non-English language, not about ability to speak another language or the use of such a language in the past. People who speak a language other than English outside of the home are not reported as speaking a language other than English. Similarly, people whose mother tongue is a non-English language but who do not currently use the language at home do not report the language.

For complete information on the limitations of ACS data, go to

Some considerations when using and interpreting the ACS data include:

ACS estimates represent the conditions that might have been present at any time within the estimate time period. ACS estimates should only be compared with like estimates. For example, 1-year data can only be compared with other 1-year data and cannot be compared with 3- or 5-year data.

If using the ACS for longitudinal analysis (comparisons over time), multi-year estimates should not overlap.