• About the Project
1.7.1 Linguistic Isolation & Multilingual Access
Why is this important?

Linguistic access not only increases connectedness within a community, but serves as a key in providing basic and fundamental human services such as health care.  While state law requires all acute psychiatric services and medical emergency rooms to provide interpreter services, the number of immediately available interpreters of diverse languages indicates the level of cultural and linguistic inclusion within a community.

How are we doing?

As of 2010, 35.5% of Bostonians spoke a language other than English in the home; 15% of the population over age 5 speaks Spanish or Spanish Creole, 12% speak other Indo-European languages, 7% speak and Asian/Pacific Island Language and 2% some other language.

Among those who speak a language other than English in the household, more than 33% are linguistically isolated—equal to more than 11% of all households in Boston.

The Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians continues to offer an interpreter pool at City Hall drawn from the staff of city departments to assist with licenses, permits, tax information, and consumer concerns. Translation in 24 languages is available, including Spanish, Chinese, French, Haitian, Cape Verdean, and Vietnamese.

Enlarge Linguistically Isolated Households Enlarge Linguistically Isolated Spanish Speaking Households Enlarge Linguistically Isolated Asian Language Speaking Households Enlarge Households by Language Spoken at Home