Close To 50 Percent Of Residents In America’s Five Largest Cities Speak A Foreign Language


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Neetu Arnold Contributor
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Nearly 50 percent of residents in America’s five largest cities speak a foreign language, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

“Newly released Census Bureau data for 2017 shows nearly half (48.2 percent) of residents in America’s five largest cities now speak a language other than English at home,” the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) analysis said.

Fifty-nine percent of residents in Los Angeles, 49 percent in New York City and Houston, 38 percent in Phoenix and 36 percent in Chicago speak a language other than English at home, according to Karen Zeigler and Steve Camarota from CIS.

Nearly 67 million U.S. residents 5 years and older chose to speak a foreign language at home. This is the most number of residents who speak a language other than English at home between 1980 and 2017, according to the CIS study.

Residents consist of those born in the U.S., legal and illegal immigrants.

Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic, French and Korean had more than a million speakers each. There were 41 million Spanish speakers in 2017.

Camarota raised concerns surrounding assimilation due to the number of people who choose to speak a foreign language over English.

“If we don’t all speak in at least the common language, then it is certainly going to potentially weaken the idea that America is one country or that Americans are one people,” Camarota told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a phone call.

Over a third of adults 18 and older who spoke a foreign language at home were born in the U.S., while 85 percent of children 5 to 17 years old who spoke a foreign language were also born in the U.S.

Camarota explained that the high number of children who were born in the U.S. but spoke a foreign language was because the average immigrant comes to the U.S. in their mid- to late 20s and have kids afterwards. Immigrants also tend to have larger families.

“The average native born woman will have 1.8 children in her lifetime, the average immigrant woman will have 2.2,” Camarota told TheDCNF.

The Census Bureau does not track language skills of responders, however, nearly 26 million who spoke a foreign language felt, in their opinions, like their English was not that good.

Close to 7.5 million more immigrants than native-born residents spoke a language besides English at homes. Immigrants did not include children born to legal and illegal immigrants and those born in U.S. territories. (RELATED: REPORT: Claims That Immigrants Are Needed To Do The Jobs Americans Won’t Doesn’t Hold Up)

The increasing number of those who speak a foreign language can affect English proficiency and budgets. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) found that public schools allocated nearly $60 billion to teach those besides citizens in 2016.

“The struggle to fund programs for students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), sometimes called English Language Learners (ELL), represents a major drain on school budgets,” the 2016 report said.

The CIS analysis found its data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS), a yearly review by the Census Bureau of over two million households in America.

“The survey reflects the U.S. population as of July 1, 2017,” according to CIS.

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