The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has released a new report based on recently-released Census Bureau data from the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS), showing that the number of people who speak a language other than English at home reached an all-time high of 61.8 million, up 2.2 million since 2010. The largest increases from 2010 to 2013 were for speakers of Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. One in five U.S. residents now speaks a foreign language at home.
The CIS is politically conservative research organization that advocates immigration reduction in the U.S. It was started as a spin-off from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and media reports have noted its ties to extremist groups, according to Wikipedia so it can only be presumed that the Center considers increased linguistic diversity to be a negative result of immigration.
Helpfully, the report also highlights the following:
• In 2013, a record 61.8 million U.S. residents (native-born, legal immigrants, and illegal immigrants) spoke a language other than English at home, of which over 36 million (60%) also spoke English at least “very well.”
• The number of world-language speakers increased 2.2 million between 2010 and 2013. It has grown by nearly 15 million (32%) since 2000 and by almost 30 million since 1990 (94%).
• The largest increases 2010 to 2013 were for speakers of Spanish (up 1.4 million, 4% growth), Chinese (up 220,000, 8% growth), Arabic (up 188,000, 22% growth), and Urdu (up 50,000, 13% growth). Urdu is the national language of Pakistan.
• Languages with more than a million speakers in 2013 were Spanish (38.4 million), Chinese (three million), Tagalog (1.6 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million), French (1.3 million), and Korean and Arabic (1.1 million each). Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines.
• The percentage of the U.S. population speaking a language other than English at home was 21% in 2013, a slight increase over 2010. In 2000, the share was 18%; in 1990 it was 14%; while it was 11% in 1980.
• Of the school-age (5 to 17) nationally, more than one in five speaks a language other than English at home. It is 44% in California and roughly one in three students in Texas, Nevada, and New York. But more surprisingly, it is now one in seven students in Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Nebraska, and Delaware; and one out of eight students in Kansas, Utah, Minnesota, and Idaho.
• Many of those who speak another language at home are not immigrants. Of the nearly 62 million world-language speakers, 44% (27.2 million) were born in the U.S.
• States with the largest share of world-language speakers in 2013 include: California, 45%; New Mexico, 36%; Texas 35%; New Jersey, 30%; Nevada, 30%; New York, 30%; Florida, 27%; Arizona, 27%; Hawaii, 25%; Illinois, 23%; Massachusetts, 22%; Connecticut, 22%; and Rhode Island, 21%.
• States with the largest percentage increases in world-language speakers 2010 to 2013 were: North Dakota, up 13%; Oklahoma, up 11%; Nevada, up 10%; New Hampshire, up 8%; Idaho, up 8%; Georgia, up 7%; Washington, up 7%; Oregon, up 6%; Massachusetts, up 6%; Kentucky, up 6%; Maryland, up 5%; and North Carolina, up 5%.
• States with the largest percentage increase in world-language speakers from 2000 to 2013 were: Nevada, up 85%; North Carolina, up 69%; Georgia, up 69%; Washington, up 60%; South Carolina, up 57%; Virginia, up 57%; Tennessee, up 54%; Arkansas, up 54%; Maryland, up 52%; Delaware, up 52%; Oklahoma, up 48%; Utah, up 47%; Idaho, up 47%; Nebraska, up 46%; Florida, up 46%; Alabama, up 43%; Texas, up 42%; Oregon, up 42%; and Kentucky, up 39%.
Whatever your feelings about multilingualism, the report and data files are available at http://cis.org.