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Ancestry and Language in the United States: November 1979

Report Number P23-116

This report contains data on the ancestry, languages, and literacy of the U.S. population. This information was collected in a special supplement to the November 1979 Current Population Survey.

The report, the first of its type, was designed to provide users with a basic set of data on ethnicity and language and to serve as a bridge between the 1970 and 1980 censuses. Data is presented on single and multiple ancestries; selected social, demographic, and economic characteristics of ancestry groups; mother tongue of persons 14 years old and over by age; ability to speak English and current language for persons 5 years old and over; and literacy by age, race, nativity, and parentage. This report contains only general characteristics. Subsequent reports will provide cross-tabulations enabling a comparison of ethnic and language items in the 1970 and 1980 censuses.

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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