Census: Change In Foreign Languages Spoken In The Home Provides Immigration Insight

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No hoblo Inglés. 我不會說英語. Ako ay hindi marunong mag-Ingles.

According to recently released Census data, the number of people living in the United States who speak a language other than English has nearly tripled in the past three decades, outpacing overall population growth.

One in five people in the United States, or about 60.6 million, over the age of 5 reported using a language other than English to communicate in the home. That’s up from 23 million in 1980.

In the three-decade period, the overall U.S. population grew by 38 percent compared to a 158 percent rise in the number of people in the Nation who don’t use English in the home. Linguistics experts say that the growing trend of immigrants not using English in the home doesn’t necessarily mean the United States has a burgeoning population of people who don’t know English, but that the trend represents a growing trend of multilingualism.

According to the 2011 Census numbers, 78 percent of those who speak a foreign language at home said they speak English “well” or “very well,” while just 22 percent said they speak English “not well” or “not at all.”

Two-thirds of people living in the United States who avoid English at home are Spanish speakers, a population of about 37.6 million people in 2011. In 1980, the Census reported only 11 million people who used Spanish as their primary language at home.

The next most widely spoken foreign language in American homes was Chinese, with 2.9 million speakers in 2011.

Illustrating changes in the makeup of the United States’ immigrant population over the past three decades, many European languages are fading in the Nation, while the in-home use of Vietnamese, Russian, Persian, Armenian, Korean and Tagalog has doubled since 1980.

The number of people speaking Italian in the home has decreased by half during the same time period. The Census also reported a significant drop in the number of German, Hungarian, French, Greek, Yiddish and Polish speakers.

Census officials contend that studying shifts foreign language use in American homes provides valuable insight to the Nation’s immigration flow.

“While increased immigration led to gains for some language groups, other groups experienced aging populations and dwindling migrant flows into the United States,” the Census report said.

The report continued, “As people get older and spend time in the United States, they are increasingly likely to make English their main language.”

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • IsThisAmerica

    English should be the only language spoken outside the home. This country speaks english, if you don’t want to learn than leave. If you don’t like our laws leave.

    • Chris

      Yes……….and we shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars to print forms in ANY language OTHER THAN English!

      • IsThisAmerica

        Got my early voting ballot for city council and half of it was in spanish. ??? Thought all government paperwork was to be in english only.

        • Chris

          That’s the way it SHOULD be, but it’s not. Not only are they printed in Spanish, but now that we have other nationalities immigrating into this country, they are also printing forms for THEM.

          Below From: http://www.usenglish.org/view/301

          Massachusetts offers drivers license exams in 25 different languages, Kentucky in 23, New York in 22 and California in 21. In all, 44 states and the District of Columbia offer the exam in languages other than English. Source: Department of Motor Vehicles in all 50 states and the
          District of Columbia, 2002
          Ha Ha……My question “IS”: How they gonna read the ENGLISH road signs?

          • Vis Fac

            They don’t have to no one pays attention anyway. They can however read the foreign language billboards instead that promote drinking and other vices.

          • IsThisAmerica

            damn good question. It USED to be you HAD to learn english to become an American citizen.

          • Robbie

            Oh really? My grandparents and great grandparents went to America from eastern Europe in the 1880’s-90’s. Some of them learned English (but poorly) and only a couple could read English. Their children grew up in New York and were fluent but could speak a bit of the old language. My generation is totally English speaking. I suspect this is/was a common trend and looks to be the same now. Relax. You’re not going to have to learn Chinese or anything like that. In any case here in Canada we use two official languages and if you ever traveled you’d know there are countries in Europe with 2 and 3 and even 4 languages and everything mostly moves pretty smoothly. Americans seem so afraid and concerned and anxious about stuff that is perfectly normal in many other places.

          • albat

            The United States is NOT Canada, but soon will be controlled by the Illegals. We do not have a large part of our country that was settled by the French!
            We have over 460,000 Illegal here in Arizona. They steal, murder, rape and destroy property and are a tax load on the legal tax payer. NO hablo Spanish!!!

          • Robbie

            I’ve spent a lot of time in New Mexico where the population recently reached 50% Spanish speaking at home and has a Spanish speaking governor. The several cities and towns I’ve been in seem delightfully peaceful and lovely in all ways. Spent just one week once driving across Arizona – didn’t see any evidence of stealing, raping, murdering, and destruction. I think you might be exaggerating.

          • Chris

            There’s a LOT of “used to be” that should “STILL be”. Another pet peeve of mine is flying the flag……..NO flag should be allowed to be flown in this country EXCEPT the “American” flag………anyone wanting to fly any other country’s flag should go there and FLY IT! And whoever doesn’t like “that”, I don’t give a flying #@%&.

          • IsThisAmerica

            I agree 100% with you.

          • IsThisAmerica

            damn good question. It USED to be you HAD to learn english to become an American citizen.

        • Michael Shreve

          Reacquired BY LAW to cater to those who REFUSE to learn English.

  • villageidiot

    America just is not America anymore! With so many ‘ aliens ‘ on the land now, the democrats are set to rule forever! C’mon where does an imposter like Obama get all his support from? Leave out the idiots in Hollywood please, they are also imposters like their hero! All the good guys have left the building it seems and we are left with ‘ morons ‘.

  • Bravo Two Six

    Duh! And the percentage of illegal border crossing has tripled, too.

  • Vis Fac

    When we immigrated from Germany many many years ago we had to be proficient in the English language BEFORE we were let off the boat at Ellis Island. We endured months of paperwork and miles of red tape and became US Citizens we despite tremendous persecution and prejudice assimilated into the US culture and society.
    YET today apathy and lethargy have caused people to think nothing of those who sneak across OUR borders REFUSE to learn English and assimilate into the culture.
    Before we could vote we needed to become citizens speak read and write English. If you look at voting today we (I should say liberals) have relaxed voting laws to the point of providing ballots in a multiple of languages and FAIL to certify those who vote have that right.
    This is a slap in the face to those of us who went through proper channels to get here. We do not waive a foreign flag on US soil we do not speak a foreign language We are Americans and not quasi Americans as others proudly remind us of. So you (provide nationality here) Americans can kiss my LEGAL AMERICAN BUTT
    Semper-Fi

  • Michael Shreve

    CATERING to those who CHOOSE not to integrate into OUR society is, at best, self destructive. MUCH of the FLOOD of “immigrants” are actually FOREIGN INVADERS.

    • IsThisAmerica

      You got that right.