Politics

Record Number Of Americans Speak Foreign Language At Home

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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A record number of U.S. residents are speaking a language other than English at home, new Census Bureau data shows.

The number of residents five years or older speaking a foreign language at home has roughly doubled to a record 63.2 million since 1990, the Center for Immigration Studies analysis of Census data found. As a share of the total U.S. population, that’s more than 1 in 5 U.S. residents.

CIS is an advocate for reduced immigration.

About 40 percent of those who said they speak a foreign language at home told the Census Bureau they speak English “less than very well” at home. Speakers of Arabic and Pakistan’s national language, Urdu, increased by the largest percentage from 2010 to 2014 — up 29 percent for Arabic and 23 percent for Urdu.

Close to half of those who don’t speak English at home were born in the United States.

Spanish speakers increased by 2.3 million between 2010 and 2014 to nearly 40 million, and are the largest group. Chinese speakers followed with an increase of about 330,000 to 3.1 million in 2014. (RELATED: USCIS Provides Citizenship Test Study Guides In Spanish)

“After the last great wave of immigration more than a century ago, the level of immigration was reduced and remained low for about half a century,” Steven Camarota, CIS director of research, said in a statement Tuesday. “This certainly helped with assimilation. But with no pause in immigration levels in sight, the nation is headed into uncharted territory.”

The share of the U.S. population that is foreign-born has jumped from 5 percent to a near-record 14 percent. By 2065, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. residents will be foreign-born. (RELATED: Pew Finds 1965 Immigration Law Exploded Foreign-Born Population)

The size of the foreign-born population has increased sharply from 9.6 million to a record 45 million, and is projected to reach 78 million by 2065, when deaths and departures from the U.S. are accounted for.

New immigrants and their descendants accounted for 55 percent of U.S. population growth since 1965, adding 72 million to the U.S. population as it grew by about two-thirds. Pew projects they’ll add another 103 million (including their descendants) to the U.S. population by 2065. (RELATED: Poll: 1 In 2 Americans Want Reduced Immigration)

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