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Since the 1990s, the number of residents in the United States that speak a language other than English has more than doubled, a new report claims.
According to new Census Bureau data, as published by the Center for Immigration Studies, a record 67.3 million U.S. residents spoke a language other than English at home in 2018.
Funded by the federal government, the data was gathered from the 2018 American Community Survey (ACS). “The information in this analysis comes directly from the Bureau’s website,” writes Steven Camarota, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Camarota adds: “There are three language questions in the ACS for 2010 and 2018. The first asks whether each person in the survey speaks a language other than English at home. Second, for those who answer “yes”, the survey then asks what language the person speaks. Third, the survey also asks how well the person speaks English.”
“Only those who speak a language at home other than English are asked about their English skills. The 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses (long form) asked almost the exact same questions.”
In the findings, it was determined that for 2018 an estimated 67.27 million people spoke a foreign language at home, while 240.25 million spoke English only.
Based on the new data, from 1980 to 2018, the number of foreign-language speakers in the U.S. rose nearly 192 percent compared to a 28 percent increase among the non-foreign population.
Of the most popular foreign languages spoken was Spanish, with an estimated 41.5 million residents, in addition to Chinese, with an estimated 3.5 million residents. The following states shared the biggest number of residents who spoke a foreign language at home: Arizona (28%), California (45%), Florida (30%), Hawaii (28%), Massachusetts (24%), Nevada (31%), New Jersey (32%), New Mexico (34%), New York (31%), and Texas (36%).
Among those who spoke a foreign language at home, nearly 45 percent were born in the United States.
Founded in 1985, the Center for Immigration Studies is a non-profit, independent think tank dedicated to research and policy analysis on immigration in the United States.