Population Data Series
The Many Languages of Missouri

Census Figures

According to the 1990 Census, 3.48 percent (178,210) of Missouri's population spoke a language other than English in the home. The five most common languages spoken in the home were Spanish or Spanish Creole (1.16 percent), German (0.63 percent), French or French Creole (0.39 percent), Italian (0.18 percent), and Chinese (0.14 percent).



                                                                                            Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Within Missouri, the counties with the largest percentages of non-English speaking households in 1990 were Pulaski (8.32 percent), Daviess (7.51 percent), Morgan (6.77 percent), Perry (5.94 percent), Boone (5.81 percent) and Jackson (5.11 percent).

Percent of 1990 Population
Non-English Language Spoken in the Home


Spanish is the most common non-English language in Missouri. Data from the 1990 Census and 2000 Census estimates show that not only is Spanish dominant versus other non-English languages in Missouri, but also growing as a language used in the home.


Counties in 1990 with the largest percentages of households speaking Spanish as the "language in the home" are Pulaski (2.92 percent), Jackson (2.48 percent), and Dekalb (2.05 percent) counties.

Percent of 1990 Population
Spanish Spoken in the Home


Detailed Census 2000 language data for all counties in Missouri should be available mid-2002 providing comparisons and patterns of change in language use in Missouri.

Limited English Proficiency

In Missouri, there are areas of Limited English Proficiency in children under 18 years of age found in counties across the state. According to data analyzed by MERIC (compiled from the Missouri Departments of Social Services and Elementary and Secondary Education, and Office of Administration), in 2000, the percent of children under 18 in Missouri that have limited English language proficiency was approximately 0.6 percent of the total under age 18 population. The most heavily concentrated areas of Limited English Proficiency are along the I-70 corridor, around Kansas City and St. Louis, and in extreme southwest Missouri.

Children Under 18 with Limited English Proficiency 2000



Although the data includes only children under 18, one can assume that if a child has Limited English Proficiency, the parents and household do as well. Therefore, from this data, it is expected that these areas also contain the greatest percentages' of the population with Limited English Proficiency.



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