Even the best outreach material can have limited effectiveness if a person in need cannot understand it. For that reason, the data presented in this tool can help organizations tailor their material and messages to the needs of the population in their service areas.

How to use this tool

This data tool offers three different types of visualizations. Use the headings at the top of the tool to toggle between these three displays.

The first visualization shows the concentration of people who are enrolled in Medicare and have incomes below 150% of the Federal poverty threshold (which would make them eligible for most federal and state benefits), and who are considered to have limited proficiency in English in each county in the United States. This can help aging and disability organizations determine if there is a need for outreach and education materials in languages other than English.

The second and third visualizations show what languages low-income Medicare beneficiaries speak at home, with the second showing a given language by geography and the third showing the linguistic breakdown of the low-income Medicare community in a specific geography. Note that the people shown in the second and third visualizations do not necessarily have limited English proficiency; they may be fluent or even native speakers of English but speak a different language at home.

Data is provided for the most commonly spoken languages in the United States, as well as two language families, Native American (which includes languages native to North America, such as those in the Iroquoian, Sioux, Algonquian, Eskaleut, Numic, and Athabaskan groups) and Pacific Islander (which includes languages native to Oceania, such as those in the Polynesian and Micronesian groups). In addition, an “Other” category includes all other non-English languages that are not specifically shown, from Polish to Hmong to Xhosa. (Note that “French” includes Haitian Creole.)