State releases new report on Hawaii’s non-English speaking population

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Using U.S. Census data collected from 2010 to 2014, the state The Ministry of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) has published a new 47-page report on Hawaii’s non-English speaking population.

“The Non-English speaking population in Hawaii report examines residents aged 5 and over, who can speak a language other than English, ”said a press release from DBEDT of April 14. “The report shows that 17.9% of the population was born abroad and speaks more than 130 languages. About one in four Hawaii residents speak a language other than English at home, which is higher than the US average of 21%. Data shows that 12.4% of the state’s population speak less than “very good” English, which is well above the US average of 8.6%.

Diving into the data, a number of fascinating trends emerge. More specifically: the portion of the population that speaks a language other than English varies quite significantly by county.

“The share of those who spoke ‘very good’ English out of the total non-English speakers was 48% in Honolulu County,” the report said. “The share was higher in Hawaii and Kauai counties by 20 percentage points and 15 percentage points, respectively. [Maui County’s share was 54 percent]. “

Additionally, the report shows that about 21% of Maui County’s population speak a language other than English at home, while that percentage drops to 18.5% in Hawaii County and rises to 27. , 5% in Honolulu County.

The report also lists 19 designated census locations (CDPs) in which at least 30 percent of the population speaks a language other than English at home. Only one of these spaces is in Maui County: Kahului, where 37.7% of the population speaks a language other than English at home.

So what languages ​​do we speak? Nationally, Spanish is by far the most popular non-English language. In fact, 62% of non-English speaking people in the United States speak Spanish. But here in Hawaii, the distribution of languages ​​is much more diverse, like the graph above.

The most popular language is a tie between Llocano and Tagalog (17.6 percent each), with Japanese at 13.8 percent. Only eight percent of non-English speakers in Hawaii speak Spanish, less than the nine percent who speak “Chinese” (the report includes Mandarin, Cantonese and other languages ​​spoken in China) but more than 5.4 percent. hundred who speak Korean.

There is also a clear difference in the languages ​​spoken by children and adults. “Compared to the adult population, the share of non-English speakers at home was 7.5 percentage points lower among 5 to 17 school-aged children,” the report says. “English proficiency was also better in the school-aged population. “

There were also differences in the actual languages ​​spoken by children and adults. “In particular, the share of Hawaiian speakers was significantly higher in the school age group than in the adult group,” the report says. “Spoken by 13% of non-English speaking school-aged children statewide, Hawaiian was as common as Japanese and Ilocano among school-aged children in Hawaii… This is mainly because Hawaiians natives have a younger age structure than most other races in Hawaii, meaning more school-aged children in its population than in other races. Conversely, the Ilocano and Tagalog were less popular among school-aged children.

Click on here to read the new report.

Pie Chart Source: National Statistics: US Census Bureau, ACS 2010-2014 5 years, Table B16001, Hawaii statistics are DBDEDT estimates based on ACS 2010-2014 public use microdata sample of 5 years * Chinese understands Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese languages

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