According to the Center of Immigration Studies (CIS) analysis of 2016 Census Bureau data the number of U.S. residents five years old and older who speak another language besides English at home has reached a record 65.5 million. This number has doubled since 1990 and tripled since 1980.
Key findings in the report include:
- In 1990 only 31.8 million spoke a language other than English at home.
- 21.6% of U.S. residents now speak a foreign language at home — nearly double the 11% in 1980.
- Nearly 1 in 4 public school students now speaks a language other than English at home.
- Many of those who speak a foreign language at home are not immigrants. In fact, half of the growth in foreign language speakers since 2010 is among those born in the United States. Overall, 44 percent (29 million) of those who speak a language other than English at home are U.S.-born.
- Of those who speak a foreign language at home, 26.1 million (39.8 percent) told the Census Bureau that they speak English less than very well. This figure is entirely based on the opinion of the respondents; the Census Bureaus does not measure language skills.
Under the RAISE Act, which would move our immigration system to a merit, point-based system, immigrants will receive points for their English-speaking ability.
Read the full report at CIS.org.
Updated: Wed, Nov 8th 2017 @ 9:45am EST