These data come from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. They are based on averages of data collected in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. These estimates cannot be used to say what is going on in any particular year in the period, only what the average value is over the full period. The Census Bureau's American Factfinder provides 3-year estimates for counties with at 20,000 people, and 1-year estimates for counties with at least 65,000 people. We use 5-year estimates because they are available for all counties and allow comparison to other counties within the region.
The ability of Hispanics to speak English "Very well" versus "Less than 'very well'" differs by whether the population is native-born or foreign-born. The American Community Survey categorizes the survey respondent's ability to speak English, specifically the respondents who reported speaking a language other than English, as speaking English "Very well," "Well," "Not well," or "Not at all." Those who answer "Well," "Not well," or "Not at all" can be grouped together and termed "Less than 'very well.'" Survey respondents are not instructed as to interpretation of these response categories and the response is self-reported.
In Montana in 2012-2016:
- the native-born Hispanic population numbered 27,753, and 84 percent spoke only English, 14 percent spoke English "Very well" while 2 percent spoke English "Less than 'very well,'"
- the foreign-born Hispanic population numbered 3,537, and 23 percent spoke only English, 36 percent spoke English "Very well" while 41 percent spoke English "Less than 'very well.'"