San Francisco language diversity data

The following dashboards show language data from the United States Census Bureau.

About the data

The following dashboards show the languages spoken at home by San Franciscans. This data covers their ability to read, write, speak, and understand English.

The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau. For more information, go to data notes and sources, below the dashboard. 

How to use the dashboard

  • Navigate between the dashboards using the arrows at the bottom of the window.
  • You can filter the data by language spoken or by Supervisorial District with the dropdown menu at the top right.
  • To see all data or to clear your selection, select the eraser icon in the upper right corner.

Language diversity data

Data notes and sources

Data notes and sources

View source data

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2022), 2016-2020 American Community Survey. 

Note: The district-level data uses San Francisco's Supervisorial District lines, effective Spring 2022.

Language Access Ordinance compliance data

View all self-reported data collected from City departments for the Language Access Ordinance annual report.

Key terms

San Francisco's threshold languages
The Language Access Ordinance requires City departments provide language access services in the following 3 languages: Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Spanish, and Filipino. These "threshold" languages are designated once the City reaches 10,000 Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents who speak a shared language.

Limited English Proficient (LEP)
This term refers to individuals who do not speak English as their primary language. They have a limited ability to read, write, or understand English.

Interpretation and translation
Interpretation is spoken; translation is written. This distinction is crucial in providing language services. 

Filipino vs. Tagalog
The terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. In 1987, the Philippines constitutionally declared Filipino as its official language. Filipino encompasses an existing variety of Philippine languages. While Tagalog is widely spoken and is the predominant language used in Manila, it is the language of a specific ethnolinguistic group. 

Compliance reports

View current and past Language Access Ordinance compliance summary reports ​​​​​​.