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Health overhaul: Arizona language diversity

Arizona faces cultural and linguistic challenges in trying to educate the public about the federal health care overhaul and in marketing the changes to limited-English speakers and hard-to-reach populations.

More than 1.6 million people in Arizona age 5 and older speak a language besides English, and about 700,000 of them say they speak English less than “very well.”

Here are the most commonly spoken languages besides English in the state:

Number of speakers Spoke English less than “Very Well”
Arizona resident over the age of 5 who speak language besides English 1,627,805 706,415
Spanish 1,267,440 597,776
Navajo 88,251 21,154
Chinese 20,940 11,070
Vietnamese 16,670 10,837
Arabic 12,708 5,143
Tagalog 16,252 4,590
Korean 8,726 4,491
Russian 8,495 3,819
Serbo-Croatian 6,557 3,044
German 22,406 2,898

‘ Source: U.S. Census.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. Why does the responsibility default to a government entity? My Grandparents and Mother spoke no English upon arrival and no one was there from the government to assist. And yes, they lived a happy, productive life full of opportunities provided by the USA. Where is the personal responsibility of the 500K to pick up the slack on their speaking English ability?

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