Data Dictionary: ACS 2006 (1-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Universe: Population 5 years and over in the United States
Variable Details
C06007. Place Of Birth By Language Spoken At Home And Ability To Speak English In The United States
Universe: Universe: Population 5 years and over in the United States
C06007011 Born in other state in the United States
Aggregation method:
Addition
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Place of Birth
The data on place of birth were derived from answers to Question 7. Respondents were asked to select one of two categories:
(1) in the United States, or
(2) outside the United States. In the American Community Survey, respondents selecting category
(1) were then asked to report the name of the state while respondents selecting category
(2) were then asked to report the name of the foreign country, or Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. In the Puerto Rico Community Survey, respondents selecting category
(1) were also asked to report the name of the state, while respondents selecting category
(2) were then asked to print Puerto Rico or the name of the foreign country, or U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, etc. People not reporting a place of birth were assigned the state or country of birth of another family member, or were allocated the response of another individual with similar characteristics. People born outside the United States were asked to report their place of birth according to current international boundaries. Since numerous changes in boundaries of foreign countries have occurred in the last century, some people may have reported their place of birth in terms of boundaries that existed at the time of their birth or emigration, or in accordance with their own national preference.
Nativity
Information on place of birth and citizenship status was used to classify the population into two major categories: native and foreign born.
Native
The native population includes anyone who was a U.S. citizen at birth. The native population includes those born in the United States, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as those born abroad of at least one U.S. citizen parent. The native population is divided into the following groups: people born in the state in which they resided at the time of the survey; people born in a different state, by region; people born in Puerto Rico or one of the U.S. Island Areas; and people born abroad with at least one U.S. citizen parent. (See also "Citizenship Status.")
Foreign Born
The foreign-born population includes anyone who was not a U.S. citizen at birth. This includes respondents who indicated they were a U.S. citizen by naturalization or not a U.S. citizen. (See also "Citizenship Status.") The foreign-born population is shown by selected area, country, or region of birth. The places of birth shown in data products were chosen based on the number of respondents who reported that area or country of birth.
Limitation of the Data
Beginning in 2006, the group quarters (GQ) population is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations may have place of birth distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the place of birth distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
Question/Concept History
The 1996-1998 American Community Survey question asked respondents to write in the U.S. state, territory, commonwealth or foreign country where this person was born. Beginning in 1999, the question asked "Where was this person born?" and provided two check-boxes, each with a write-in space.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Language Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English
Language Spoken at Home
Data on language spoken at home were derived from answers to the 2006 American Community Survey Questions 13a and 13b. These questions were asked only of persons 5 years of age and older. Instructions mailed with the American Community Survey questionnaire instructed respondents to mark "Yes" on Question 13a if they sometimes or always spoke a language other than English at home, and "No" if a language was spoken only at school - or if speaking was limited to a few expressions or slang. For Question 13b, respondents printed the name of the non-English language they spoke at home. If the person spoke more than one non-English language, they reported the language spoken most often. If the language spoken most frequently could not be determined, the respondent reported the language learned first.
Questions 13a and 13b referred to languages spoken at home in an effort to measure the current use of languages other than English. This category excluded respondents who spoke a language other than English exclusively outside of the home.
Most respondents who reported speaking a language other than English also spoke English. The questions did not permit a determination of the primary language of persons who spoke both English and another language.
An automated computer system coded write-in responses to Question 13b into more than 380 detailed language categories. This automated procedure compared write-in responses with a master computer code list - which contained approximately 55,000 previously coded language names and variants - and then assigned a detailed language category to each write-in response. The computerized matching assured that identical alphabetic entries received the same code. Clerical coding categorized any write-in responses that did not match the computer dictionary. When multiple languages other than English were specified, only the first was coded.
The write-in responses represented the names people used for languages they spoke. They may not have matched the names or categories used by professional linguists. The categories used were sometimes geographic and sometimes linguistic. The following table provides an illustration of the content of the classification schemes used to present language data.
Four and Thirty-Nine Group Classifications of Languages Spoken at Home with Illustrative Examples
Four-Group Classification Thirty-nine Group Classification Examples
Spanish Spanish or Spanish Creole Spanish, Ladino, Pachuco
Other Indo-European languages French French, Cajun, Patois
French Creole Haitian Creole
Italian Italian
Portuguese or Portuguese Creole Portuguese, Papia Mentae
German German, Luxembourgian
Yiddish Yiddish
Other West Germanic languages Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch, Afrikaans
Scandinavian languages Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Greek Greek
Russian Russian
Polish Polish
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian, Croatian, Serbian
Other Slavic languages Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian
Armenian Armenian
Persian Persian
Gujarathi Gujarathi
Hindi Hindi
Urdu Urdu
Other Indic languages Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, Romany
Other Indo-European languages Albanian, Gaelic, Lithuanian,Rumanian
Asian and Pacific Island languages Chinese Cantonese, Formosan, Mandarin
Japanese Japanese
Korean Korean
Mon-Khmer, Cambodian Mon-Khmer, Cambodian
Hmong Hmong
Thai Thai
Laotian Laotian
Vietnamese Vietnamese
Other Asian languages Dravidian languages (Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil),Turkish
Tagalog Tagalog
Other Pacific Island languages Chamorro, Hawaiian, Ilocano, Indonesian, Samoan
All other languages Navajo Navajo
Other Native North American languages Apache, Cherokee, Dakota, Pima, Yupik
Hungarian Hungarian
Arabic Arabic
Hebrew Hebrew
African languages Amharic, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Bantu, Swahili, Somali
Other and unspecified languages Syriac, Finnish, Other languages of the Americas, not reported

Household Language
In households where one or more people spoke a language other than English, the household language assigned to all household members was the non-English language spoken by the first person with a non-English language. This assignment scheme ranked household members in the following order: householder, spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild, other relative, stepchild, unmarried partner, housemate or roommate, and other nonrelatives. Therefore, a person who spoke only English may have had a non-English household language assigned during tabulations by household language.
Ability to Speak English
Respondents who reported speaking a language other than English were asked to indicate their English-speaking ability based on one of the following categories: "Very well," "Well," "Not well," or "Not at all." Ideally, the data on ability to speak English represented a person's perception of their own English-speaking ability. However, because one household member usually completes American Community Survey questionnaires, the responses may have represented the perception of another household member. Respondents were not instructed on how to interpret the response categories in Question 13c.
Linguistic Isolation
A linguistically isolated household was one in which all adults had some limitation in communicating English. A household was classified as "linguistically isolated" if, 1.) No household member age 14 years and over spoke only English, and 2). No household member age 14 years and over who spoke another language spoke English "Very well." All members of a linguistically isolated household were tabulated as "linguistically isolated," including members under 14 years old who may have spoken only English.
Limitation of the Data
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. Some people who speak a language other than English at home may have first learned that language in school. These people are expected to indicate speaking English "Very well."
The detail in which language names are coded may give a false impression of the linguistic precision of these data. The identifying names used by speakers of a language may reflect ethnic, geographic, or political affiliations, and are not necessarily identical to official linguistic distinctions.
Although there are more than 6,000 languages in the world, the Census Bureau codes all reported languages into approximately 380 categories.

- Limitation of the Data -Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations may have ability to speak English and language spoken at home distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the ability to speak English and language spoken at home distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.

Question/Concept History
The minor changes in specific codes starting in 1999 do not affect the tabulations of languages. The list of examples was moved below the write-in 1999; in the 1996-1998 ACS questionnaires, it was directly after the question.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
United States
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