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[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on August 13, 2014 on Pat Smith’s City Researcher blog. Smith is a board member of City Collaborative and one of the organizer’s of ReSurfaced on Main Street. He enjoys analyzing and mapping data to uncover stories about Louisville.]

I’ve been enjoying the various “Most Common Language Other Than English” maps for U.S. states or city neighborhoods that folks have posted this summer, and I didn’t want Louisville to be left out of the fun.

Louisville has developed a reputation as an immigrant-friendly, mid-sized city, so I thought it would be interesting to see how that played out geographically, in terms of language spoken at home. Overall it’s estimated that around 8 percent of Louisvillians speak a language other than English at home (3.8 percent speaking Spanish at home).

Rather than go through a process of aerial interpolation to “force” the data into Louisville’s urban neighborhoods, and creating a more complicated estimate, I’m simply presenting the data as is, estimated at the Census Tract level. So basically I’m using Census Tracts as a rough proxy for neighborhoods.

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Pat Smith

Pat Smith

Co-Founder at City Collaborative
Patrick Smith is a certified planner, researcher, data analyst, and Kentuckian. Patrick specializes in planning and research in community development, civic technology, public health, and social services. He has made digital maps for the Kentucky Geological Survey and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, organized public engagement processes for the UK Transportation Center and UofL Center for Hazards Research, and currently is a consulting planner and evaluator with REACH Evaluation on projects in the US and in Ireland. He has published as a co-author in the Journal of Urban Technology and the Journal of Mental Health, and has written a series of publications for the American Planning Association in 2006. He is the author of The City Researcher, a blog on urban and regional affairs focusing on data, maps, and graphics. Patrick is a co-founder and serves as Board Chair for the non-profit City Collaborative, a community development "do-tank," and is a founding member of the Civic Data Alliance, Louisville's Code for America Brigade.
Pat Smith

4 COMMENTS

  1. I am completing data about what languages Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ clients speak – broken down by number of households in certain zip codes. In 2014, 187 households in roughly 6 of the same zip codes spoke 24 languages. Very interesting when you break it all down!

  2. Hi! I’m a recent high school grad, and I love learning new languages. This map will help me see what areas of town I can go to to try some out! Thanks!

  3. Also, looking at the map, I wonder how many people may be lying on the census? I’ve lived in south Louisville all of my life, and I’ve never met a family that has spoken a language in their home such as German, or French. Maybe these people learned these languages in school and put them on the census as a joke?

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