03 de agosto de 2020
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Hispanic World

More than 40 mn in US speak Spanish at home, almost as many as in Spain

Washington, Oct 29 (efe-epa).- Some 41.5 million people living in the United States speak Spanish at home, a figure slightly below the total population of Spain with its 46.6 million inhabitants, according to a report published Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies.

 An undated file photo taken in Denver showing an Hispanic mother speaking to her son on the first day of kindergarten. EFE-EPA/Francisco Miraval/File

An undated file photo taken in Denver showing an Hispanic mother speaking to her son on the first day of kindergarten. EFE-EPA/Francisco Miraval/File

Washington, Oct 29 (efe-epa).- Some 41.5 million people living in the United States speak Spanish at home, a figure slightly below the total population of Spain with its 46.6 million inhabitants, according to a report published Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies.

This figure is larger than the number of Spanish-speakers in all Latin American countries except for Mexico, Colombia and Argentina.

It represents an increase of 4.5 million Spanish-speakers since 2010, thus maintaining Spanish as the non-English language that is spoken by the most people in the US, with Chinese a distant second.

In the US there is no "official" language, although English is the only language used by almost 240 million of its people, according to data from the US Census, and it is - of course - the language in which the country's Constitution is written and in which virtually all government business is conducted.

Besides Spanish, in the US there are six languages spoken at home by more than 1 million people: Chinese (3.5 million), Tagalog (1.8 million), Vietnamese (1.5 million), Arabic (1.3 million), French (1.2 million) and Korean (1.1 million).

Between 2010 and 2018, the largest numerical increases in people speaking a non-English language at home occurred for Spanish (4.5 million), Chinese (663,000), Arabic (394,000), Hindi (265,000), Tagalog (187,000), Telugu (177,000) and Vietnamese (161,000).

In all, there are 67.3 million US residents who speak a non-English language at home, more than the population of France.

This figure has tripled since 1980 and is more than double the number in 1990, according to the CIS study, which analyzed the latest figures from the US Census Bureau up through 2018.

In terms of proportion of the population, currently 21.9 percent of US residents speak a language other than English with their relatives.

The states with the greatest proportion of their population speaking a language other than English in the home are California (45 percent), Texas (36 percent), New Mexico (34 percent) and New Jersey (32 percent).

Among the major US cities, in New York 49 percent of the residents speak a language other than English, in Los Angeles 59 percent, in Chicago 36 percent and in Houston 50 percent.

The study is based on figures published by the Census Bureau in September 2019 in its American Community Survey, which analyzes the country's population up through July 1, 2018.

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