Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Baseline Report
Executive Order 13166 "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency" requires all recipients of federal funds to provide meaningful access to persons who are limited in their English proficiency (LEP). The United States (U.S.) Department of Justice defines LEP individuals as those "who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English" (67 FR 41459). Data about LEP populations was gathered in the U.S. Census 2000. For data analysis purposes, the Census divides the states of the United States into counties, divides counties into tracts and divides tracts into block groups.
Within area block groups, Census data record the presence of persons who describe their ability to speak English as less than "Very Well." The table below shows the percentages of adults who speak English less than "Very Well" by language category. Additionally, 1,374 households or 33.8% of households within area block groups reported to the Census that their household was linguistically isolated, meaning that all household members over the age of fourteen had at least some difficulty with English. Thus, Census data indicate the presence of LEP populations.
Table. Census Data: Percent of Adult Speakers Who Speak English Less than Very Well*
|Census Geographies||Total Adult Population||Percent of Adult Speakers Who Speak English Less than Very Well|
|Spanish Language Speakers||Other Indo European Language Speakers||Asian and Pacific Island Language Speakers||Other Language Speakers|
|Los Angeles city||2,716,259||25.1%||3.2%||5.1%||0.6%|
|Los Angeles County
Data Source: United States Census 2000 (Table P19) as of February 9, 2008 for persons age 18 and older.
* The data on ability to speak English represent the Census respondent's own perception about his ability to speak English (United States Census 2000 Metadata).
Since LEP is partially defined as a limited ability to read and write English, literacy data were also consulted. Indirect literacy estimates for adults were calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics based on 2003 survey data for states and counties. The percentage of adults who lack basic prose literacy skills for Los Angeles County and California are 18% and 19% respectively.1 While literacy estimates do not differentiate between low literate English speakers and low literate LEP populations, literacy data should be considered along with other LEP indicators in determining how to best provide access to LEP populations.
To supplement Census and literacy data, area school district (ISD) data were consulted for indicators of LEP populations. School districts collect data on the number of English Language Learners as defined by each state's Department of Education and migrant students as defined in 34 CFR 200.81(d). For school year 2005-06, LOS ANGELES UNIFIED reported 40.4% of students as English Language Learners and 0.6% as migrant students. In conclusion, the data indicate the likelihood of LEP populations in the area.
To determine the languages of the LEP populations, Census data were consulted for project area tracts. The table below details the top five languages spoken by the total adult population (LEP and non-LEP) for each tract.
Table. Census Data: Top Five Languages Spoken by the Adult Population
|Census Geographies||Language 1||Language 2||Language 3||Language 4||Language 5|
Data Source: United States Census 2000 (Table PCT10) as of February 9, 2008.
Therefore, the block groups data indicate the presence of a Spanish language group that exceeds the Department of Justice's Safe Harbor threshold of 5% or 1,000 persons. In accordance with the Safe Harbor provisions, written translations of vital documents will be provided for the LEP language group in addition to other measures assuring meaningful access. These other measures include [enter any measures to be taken to ensure meaningful access]. Thus, the requirements of Executive Order 13166 appear to be satisfied.
1. See http://nces.ed.gov/naal/estimates/Cautions.aspx for general cautions about indirect literacy estimates.
- "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency," 3 Code of Federal Regulations 13166. 2001 ed.
- "Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons," 67 Federal Register 117 (18 June 2002), pp. 41459.
- U.S. Bureau of the Census. Census 2000: Summary File 3. Washington: The Bureau, 2008.
- National Center for Education Statistics. "State & County Estimates of Low Literacy." National Assessment of Adult Literacy. 2009. http://nces.ed.gov/naal/estimates/Index.aspx.
- National Center for Education Statistics. Common Core of Data. Washington: NCES.