Tuesday, August 06, 2013

61 Million Do Not Speak English at Home

Fully 61 million Americans aged 5 or older speak a language other than English at home—a substantial 21 percent of the population. A new Census Bureau report (Language Use in the United States: 2011) analyzes the languages Americans speak at home, which range from Spanish and Chinese to Arabic, Hebrew, and Navajo. The report also looks at the English-language ability of those who speak other languages at home.

Among those who do not speak English at home, nearly two out of three (38 million) speak Spanish. Among Spanish speakers, the 56 percent majority speak English "very well." Other languages spoken in the home by at least 1 million Americans are Chinese (2.9 million), Tagalog (1.6 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million), French (1.3 million), Korean (1.1 million), and German (1.1 million). Most of those who speak Tagalog, French, or German at home also speak English very well. Most of those who speak Chinese, Vietnamese, or Korean at home do not speak English very well.

The report includes statistics for states and selected metropolitan areas. The Census Bureau also created an interactive language mapper that zooms in on areas as small as census tracts where at least 10 people speak one of 15 languages other than English at home.

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