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At least one-in-five residents of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas spoke Spanish at home in 2007, according to new American Community Survey data releasedย  by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nationwide, an estimated 35 million, or about 12.3 percent, hablan espaรฑol at home.

The annual release of American Community Survey data about the social, economic and housing characteristics of the nation’s population also show state rankings on topics such as which state had the highest household size (Utah), and which had the highest percentage of college graduates (District of Columbia and Massachusetts).

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Other findings available for the nation, states and geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more include the following:

     More Foreign-Born:

The estimates for the foreign-born population reached an all-time high of 38.1 million in 2007, representing 12.6 percent of the U.S. population.
About 12 million people, or 31 percent of all foreign-born, were born in Mexico.

California (27.4 percent), New York (21.8), New Jersey (19.9), Nevada (19.4) and Florida (18.9) had the highest percentage of foreign-born. (See state ranking table R0501).

Of the 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas, Miami and Los Angeles had the highest percentage of foreign-born (37.0 percent and 34.9 percent, respectively). St. Louis had the lowest (4.0 percent). (See MSA ranking tables.)
     Living in the Area Where They Were Born:

About eight in 10 of the U.S.-born population in Louisiana and New York were born in those states (82.2 and 82.1 percent, respectively). At the other end of the spectrum, only 28.5 percent of the U.S.-born population living in Nevada were born there.

A higher percentage of people in the Midwest were born in their current state of residence (70.3 percent) than in any other region. The Northeast is the second highest region with 63.5 percent. The South is third with 56.3 percent, followed by the West with 48.5 percent. (See state ranking table R0601).

Among the 20 largest metro areas, Detroit had the highest percentage of people who were born there and currently live there. 

     Speaking a Language Other Than English at Home:

About 19.7 percent of the population age 5 and over spoke a language other than English at home in 2007. That figure was 17.9 percent in 2000 and 13.8 percent in 1990. English is the only language spoken in 80.3 percent of households. (See state ranking table R1601).
About one-in-five California residents over age 5 spoke English less than “very well.” Less than 1 percent of people in West Virginia and Montana are also in this category. (See state ranking table R1603).

More than half of the residents over age 5 in the Los Angeles metro area (53.6 percent) spoke a language other than English at home. Miami is second among the 20 largest metro areas, with about half (49.1 percent) of its population age 5 and over in this category.
     Slowdown in Home Appreciation:

Median home values increased between 2006 and 2007 but at a significantly slower rate than in recent years. The percent change for property value from 2006 to 2007 (2 percent) was the lowest change from year to year since 2003 to 2004.

The highest median home value among the 20 largest metro areas was in the San Francisco, with $706,100. The Houston metro area had the lowest ($135,800).

Homeowners with mortgages in California and New Jersey had the highest median monthly housing costs in the nation ($2,314 and $2,278, respectively). Homeowners in West Virginia and Arkansas had the lowest ($881 and $920).

The median selected monthly housing costs for owners with mortgages across the country were $1,464, a 1.8 percent increase over the 2006 estimate of $1,438, after adjusting for inflation. 

     The Census Bureau will release the first set of three-year estimates for all areas with populations of 20,000 or more on Dec. 9 ย— the first time detailed census socioeconomic and housing data will be available for these smaller entities since Census 2000.

     As part of the Census Bureau’s reengineered 2010 Census, the data collected by the American Community Survey (ACS) helps federal officials determine where to distribute more than $300 billion to state and local governments each year. Responses to the survey are strictly confidential and protected by law.

     The 2007 ACS estimates are based on a nationwide sample of about 250,000 addresses per month. In addition, approximately 20,000 group quarters across the United States were sampled, comprising approximately 200,000 residents. Geographic areas for which data are available are based on total populations of 65,000 or more.

     The Office of Management and Budget’s metro area definitions are those issued by that agency in December 2005. Some metro area titles are abbreviated in the text of the news release. Full titles are shown in the tables.

ย ย ย ย  As is the case with all surveys, statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. All comparisons made in the reports have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted. Please consult the data tables for specific margins of error.

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