Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a notice of determination of minority language status following the 2010 census.
It’s an interesting list – while some jurisdictions will be required for the first time to make voting materials available in alternate languages for the first time, many other jurisdictions who were on the list in 2002 are not this time around. As the Associated Press reported, the total number of covered jurisdictions went from 296 jurisdictions in 30 states ten years ago to 248 jurisdictions in 25 states beginning in 2012.
If you want to play with the data, I did a quick grab and reformat of the 2002 and 2012 determinations, which you can find here.
There are some interesting tidbits in there – for example, there is apparently a sizable Filipino population in Alaska’s Aleutians East Borough and enough Bangladeshis in Michigan’s Hamtramck City to qualify for language assistance.
It will be especially interesting to see what happens in those jurisdictions who no longer appear on the 2012 list; do they continue to offer voting materials in alternate languages? Or does such assistance fall victim to the overall desire to save resources in the current tight fiscal environment?
For jurisdictions just joining the list – or in the case of Los Angeles County, CA, adding yet another language – my observations from August still stand:
[I]nformation sharing [about minority language materials] can and should happen both within and between states; while no two jurisdictions (or language communities) are alike, having common materials will afford newcomers a “first draft” that will help them get started while “old timers” will see many more use cases of their materials that be used to further improve what they already have.
Stay tuned – there will undoubtedly be far more news on this front over the next several months.