California’s language diversity at a glance

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California Health Insurance Exchange

(AP Photo)

The Associated Press

California faces cultural and linguistic challenges in trying to market the state’s new health insurance exchange to limited-English speakers and hard-to-reach populations. Many say they speak English less than very well.

Here are the most commonly spoken languages besides English for people older than age 5 in California:

Population Age 5 and older Speak English less than “very well”
Total: 33.7 million 6.7 million
Spanish 9.5 million 4.6 million
Chinese 926,918 523,169
Tagalog 706,785 227,906
Vietnamese 460,203 281,793
Korean 347,778 214,451
Farsi, Persian 180,269 72,594
Armenian 174,358 83,371
Russian 142,278 70,613
Arabic 129,813 43,915
Khmer, Cambodian 68,455 38,017
Hmong 67,522 35,184
Laotian 35,153 17,988

Source: U.S. Census, 2007

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Myriad languages, cultures, challenge health reform (kfwb.com)

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