With this project, we have set out to map the languages spoken across New York City (NYC) using U.S. Census data from the 2013 American Community Survey. A proximity buffer analysis was done using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to aggregate the percentage of the population living in census tracts within a 1-mile buffer from each CUNY campus that speak different languages (as grouped by the U.S. Census Bureau). The analysis gives us a snapshot of the languages spoken in the communities closest to each CUNY campus. Data on languages spoken by first-time freshmen students at CUNY campuses and on language courses taught at different CUNY colleges allow for comparison between languages spoken in communities around each CUNY campus and the languages education opportunities offered at each campus. For more detailed background information on the project and the methodology see Introduction and Methodology.

The interactive map below allows users to toggle between different languages spoken throughout NYC using the tabs on the left, zoom in and out on different areas of the city, and click on census tracks to see what percentage of the population in each area of the city speak a particular language. Results from our proximity buffer analysis around each CUNY campus can be accessed via the interactive map interface by clicking on “CUNY Languages Analysis Results” and then navigating to the individual campus points on the map with a click to open the campus snapshot. Users who may prefer static versions of either the city-wide language maps or the CUNY campus snapshot results should see Individual NYC Language Maps and Individual CUNY Campus Results, respectively.

Note on interpreting the legends in the interactive map below: these maps use a natural breaks (jenks) classification method that seeks to partition the language data into classes based on natural groups in the data distribution. The legends at the bottom of each language map, therefore, are unique to each. The classification method chosen allows for fast identification of areas where higher percentages of a particular language are spoken, but the darker blue colors do not represent the same percentage values across the different maps.

MAP Data Sources:

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey 2013, 5-Year Estimates. Table B16001.
  2. U.S. Census Bureau. New York State Census Tract 2013 TIGER/Line(R) Shapefiles, U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division.