This is not a surprise, but it’s nice to see this trend validated by statistics. A strong majority of U.S. Hispanics speak English or are bilingual, according to an analysis of the Pew Research Center’s 2013 National Survey of Latinos. Hispanics in the United States break down into three groups when it comes to their use of language: 36% are bilingual, 25% mainly use English and 38% mainly use Spanish. Among those who speak English, 59% are bilingual. Further analysis from Pew:


Due in part to bilingualism, in 2013 Spanish was the most spoken non-English language in the U.S., used by 35.8 million Hispanics in the U.S. plus an additional 2.6 million non-Hispanics. Overall, three-in-four Hispanics (73%) ages 5 and older speak Spanish in their homes, when including those who are bilingual.

This report comes a few weeks after a Pew Research Center report this found that a rising share of Hispanics in the United States speak proficient English and the percentage of those speaking Spanish at home has been declining. The report found 68 percent of Hispanics spoke only English at home or spoke English very well in 2013, up from 59 percent in 2000. The share of Hispanics speaking Spanish at home dropped to 73 percent from 78 percent over the same period.

Pew spokespeople say this shift to English-only is part of a broader trend, which is the U.S.-born driving many of the characteristics of the community, and it is only going to become more amplified.

On the other hand, the number of Hispanics who speak Spanish at home reached a record 35.8 million. That rise is because of overall growth in the Hispanic population, Pew says. The report, which was based on an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, found that the number of Hispanics who speak proficient English also hit a record 33.2 million.

About half of U.S.-born Hispanics speak Spanish, and about half of their children retain the language, Lopez said. The recent rise of English-language media geared toward Hispanics is responding to this trend, he said.

According to the report, 89 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics spoke proficient English in 2013, up from 81 percent in 2000. ForHispanic immigrants, English proficiency was greater among those with higher levels of education, the report showed.