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English Language Proficiency Study (ELPS), 1982: [United States] (ICPSR 8974)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census


The purpose of this data collection was to provide estimates of the number of children in the United States with limited English proficiency from non-English backgrounds by state and by language. Tests of proficiency in reading, understanding, and producing English were administered to both adults and children from English and non-English language backgrounds. Characteristics such as age, sex, race, household relationship, Spanish origin, languages spoken at home, proficiency in speaking English, school enrollment, highest grade completed, country of birth, and parents' country of birth are shown for each person in the household enumerated. In addition, information is provided on household income and language usually spoken by that household.

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Study Description


United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. English Language Proficiency Study (ELPS), 1982: [United States]. ICPSR08974-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1988. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08974.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08974.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Education

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    adults, children, English as a Second Language, language, reading ability, reading comprehension

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1982

Date of Collection:   

  • 1982

Universe:    The civilian noninstitutional population of the United States living in housing units and male members of the Armed Forces living in civilian housing units on a military base or in a household not on a military base.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Detailed information on the sample design of this study and on the reliability of the sample estimates is included in the documentation.


Sample:    Housing units were selected using a multi-stage, stratified probability sample. Within sampled households, pre-specified procedures were used to select one or more individuals to be tested for English language proficiency. Children over the age of five as well as adults were eligible for selection.

Data Source:

personal interviews, and proficiency tests


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-01-10


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