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The LEP Special Tabulation

Census 2000 Data on Limited English Proficient Adults

Excerpted from:
Demographic Profile:2000
2000 Census of Population and Housing
Technical Documentation
Issued May 2002
Census Summary File-3 Technical Documentation

  • Ability to speak English. For people who speak a language other than English at home, the response represents the person's own perception of his or her ability to speak English, from "very well" to "not at all." Because census questionnaires are usually completed by one household member, the responses may represent the perception of another household member. (For more information, see "Language spoken at home." )
  • Age. The age classification is based on the age of the person in complete years as of April 1, 2000. The age of the person usually was derived from their date of birth information. Their reported age was used only when date of birth information was unavailable.
  • Earnings. Earnings is defined as the sum of wage and salary income and net income from self- employment. Earnings represent the amount of income received regularly before deductions for personal income taxes, social security, bond purchases, union dues, medicare deductions, etc.
  • Educational attainment. Educational attainment is the highest degree or level of school com- pleted. The category "Associate degree" includes people whose highest degree is an associate degree, which generally requires two years of college level work and is either in an occupational program that prepares them for a specific occupation, or an academic program primarily in the arts and sciences. The course work may or may not be transferable to a bachelor's degree. Master's degrees include the traditional MA and MS degrees and field-specific degrees, such as MSW, MEd, MBA, MLS, and MEng. Some examples of professional degrees include medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatry, veterinary medicine, law, and theology. Vocational and technical training, such as that in barber school; business, trade, technical, and vocational schools; or other training for a specific trade are specifically excluded.
  • Employed. All civilians 16 years old and over who are either (1) "at work" -those who did any work at all during the reference week as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession, worked on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a family farm or in a family business or (2)are "with a job, but not at work" -those who did not work during the reference week, but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent. Excluded from the employed are people whose only activity consisted of work around their own house (painting, repairing, or own home housework)or unpaid volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations. Also excluded are people on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. The reference week is the full calendar week preceding the date on which the respondent completed the questionnaire or was interviewed by enumerators. (For more information, see "Labor force" and "Unemployed." )
  • Family household (family). A family includes a householder and one or more people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All people in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family. A family household may contain people not related to the householder, but those people are not included as part of the householder's family in census tabulations. Thus, the number of family households is equal to the number of families, but family households may include more members than do families. A household can contain only one family for purposes of census tabulations. Not all households contain families since a household may comprise a group of unrelated people or one person living alone.
  • Foreign born. The foreign-born population includes all people who are not U. S. citizens at birth. (For more information, see "Native" and "Born at sea." ) Full-time, year-round workers. This category consists of people 16 years old and over who usually worked 35 hours or more per week for 50 to 52 weeks in 1999.
  • Household. A household includes all of the people who occupy a housing unit. People not living in households are classified as living in group quarters.
  • Income in 1999. Information on money income received in calendar year 1999 was requested from individuals 15 years and over. "Total income" is the sum of the amounts reported separately for wage or salary income; net self-employment income; interest, dividends, or net rental or royalty income; social security or railroad retirement income; supplemental security income (SSI); public assistance or welfare payments; retirement or disability income; and all other income. Receipts from the following sources are not included as income: money received from the sale of property (unless the recipient was engaged in the business of selling such property); capital gains; the value of income "in kind" from food stamps, public housing subsidies, medical care, employer contributions for individuals, etc.; withdrawal of bank deposits; money borrowed; tax refunds; exchange of money between relatives living in the same household; and gifts and lump-sum inheritances, insurance payments, and other types of lump-sum receipts.
  • Although the income statistics cover calendar year 1999, the characteristics of individuals and the composition of households/families refer to the time of enumeration. Thus, the income of the household or family does not include amounts received by individuals who were members of the household/family during all or part of the calendar year 1999 if these individuals no longer resided with the household/family at the time of enumeration. Similarly, income amounts reported by individuals who did not reside with the household/family during 1999 but who were members of the household/family at the time of enumeration are included. However, the composition of most households/families was the same during 1999 as at the time of enumeration.
  • Income of households. Includes the income of the householder and all other individuals 15 years old and over in the household, whether they are related to the householder or not. Because many households consist of only one person, average household income is usually less than average family income.
  • Linguistic Isolation. A household in which no person age 14 years or over speaks only English and no person age 14 years or over who speaks a language other than English speaks English "Very well" is classified as "linguistically isolated." All the members of a linguistically isolated household are tabulated as linguistically isolated, including members under age 14 years who may speak only English.
  • Public assistance income. Public assistance income includes general assistance and temporary assistance to needy families (TANF). Separate payments received for hospital or other medical care (vendor payments) are excluded. This does not include supplemental security income (SSI).
  • Labor force. The labor force includes all people classified in the civilian labor force (that is, "employed" and "unemployed" people) plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces (people on active duty in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard). (For more information, see "Employed" and "Unemployed." )
  • Language spoken at home. The population who speaks a language other than English includes only those who sometimes or always speak a language other than English at home. It does not include those who speak a language other than English only at school or work, or those who were limited to only a few expressions or slang of the other language. Most people who speak another language at home also speak English. (For more information, see "Ability to speak English." )
  • Median earnings for full-time, year-round workers. The median divides the earnings distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median and one-half above the median. Median earnings for full-time, year-round workers is based on individuals 16 years and over with earnings who usually worked 35 hours or more per week for 50 to 52 weeks in 1999. This measure is rounded to the nearest dollar. (For more information, see "Earnings." )
  • Median income. The median divides the income distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median income and one-half above the median. For households and families, the median income is based on the distribution of the total number of households or families including those with no income. The median for individuals is based on individuals 15 years and over with income. This measure is rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
  • Occupation. Occupation describes the kind of work the person does on the job. For employed people, the data refer to the person's job during the reference week. For those who worked at two or more jobs, the data refer to the job at which the person worked the greatest number of hours during the reference week. Some examples of occupational groups shown in this product include service, sales, and farming.
  • Poverty status in 1999. Poverty is measured by using 48 thresholds that vary by family size and number of children within the family and age of the householder. To determine whether a person is poor, one compares the total income of that person's family with the threshold appropriate for that family. If the total family income is less than the threshold, then the person is considered poor, together with every member of his or her family. Not every person is included in the poverty universe: institutionalized people, people in military group quarters, people living in college dormitories, and unrelated individuals under 15 years old are considered neither as "poor" nor as "nonpoor," and are excluded from both the numerator and the denominator when calculating poverty rates. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandates that all federal agencies (including the Census Bureau) use this poverty definition for statistical purposes (OMB Statistical Policy Directive 14, May 1978).
  • Residence in 1995. Residence in 1995 indicates an individual's area of residence on April 1, 1995
  • Unemployed. Civilians 16 years old and over are classified as unemployed if they (1) were neither "at work" nor "with a job but not at work" during the reference week, (2)were looking for work during the last four weeks, and (3)were available to start a job. Also included as unemployed are civilians 16 years old and over who did not work at all during the reference week, were on temporary layoff from a job, expected to be recalled to work within the next 6 months, or had been given a date to return to work, and were available for work during the reference week. (For more information, see "Employed" and "Labor force." )
  • Workers. Workers 16 years and over are members of the Armed Forces and civilians who were at work during the reference week.
  • Year of entry. The year in which a person born outside the United States came to live in the United States.