One in three individuals in areas of concentrated poverty lives in a household in which English is not spoken at home – and half of those individuals speak English less than “very well”.5 Concentrated poverty ZCTAs in the West have the highest saturations of both non-English speaking households and those with limited English proficiency.
Thirty percent of households speak a language other than English at home in the average metro concentrated poverty area. Comparatively, just over 20 percent of U.S. households do not regularly speak English. The average share of households in areas of concentrated poverty in which English is not the primary language varies dramatically by region. In the average Western high poverty area, about three out of five households (58 percent) speak a language other than English at home, which is more than five times the rate in the average concentrated poverty area in the Midwest, where only 11 percent of concentrated poor area residents speak a language other than English at home.
5 Half of households in the average the average concentrated poverty area that speak a language other than English at home speak English less than “very well”, on average. In the average Western high poverty ZCTA, almost one-third of individuals have limited English proficiency. Conversely, in the average Midwestern concentrated poverty area, just over five percent of people do not speak English “very well”; a level that is even below the national one.