As far as afternoon diversions go, the latest language use visualization from the U.S. Census Bureau is one of the more entertaining. The Bureau is making good use of its American Community Survey data with the launch of the new Language Mapper widget. The interactive application displays a dot-density map for 15 separate languages and allows users to zoom down to specific regions and cities throughout the country.

ACS Language Use Map

Along with counting the number of foreign language speakers in a particular area, the map also breaks down language speakers by English proficiency. Not surprisingly, the country’s major metropolitan areas harbor the greatest number of foreign language speakers who do not speak English “very well.”

Well worth a couple minutes of your afternoon…

Dustin Cable is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service where he conducts research on topics that lie at the intersection of demographics, politics, and public policy.