A record 67.3 million U.S. residents speak a foreign language at home, the latest sign of the growing influence of immigrants on American culture.
Census Bureau data shows that homes that do not speak English first grew seven times faster than those that do.
The data, analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies, found that in the top five American cities, an average of 48% speak a foreign language at home, mostly Spanish or Chinese.
And in 90 major cities, more than half speak a non-English language at home.
The analysis said, “The Center for Immigration Studies finds that 67.3 million residents in the United States now speak a language other than English at home, a number equal to the entire population of France. The number has nearly tripled since 1980, and more than doubled since 1990. The growth at the state level is even more pronounced. All language figures in Census Bureau data are for persons five years of age and older.”
Key highlights from the newly-released analysis:
- In America’s five largest cities, just under half (48%) of residents now speak a language other than English at home. In New York City, that figure is 49%; in Los Angeles, it is 59%; in Chicago, it is 36%; in Houston, it is 50%; and in Phoenix, it is 38%.
- Nearly 22% of U.S. residents speak a foreign language at home — more than double the 11% who did in 1980.
- Languages with more than a million people who speak it at home in 2018 were Spanish (41.5 million), Chinese (3.5 million), Tagalog (1.8 million), Vietnamese (1.5 million), Arabic (1.3 million), French (1.2 million), and Korean (1.1 million).
- There are now more people who speak Spanish at home in the U.S. than in any country in Latin America, with the exception of Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina.