Foreign language

File photo of the Indian festival of Diwali being celebrated at Times Square in New York in 2016. A Center for Immigration Studies shows that the largest percentage increases since 2010 among languages with more than 400,000 speakers included two languages from India, Hindi and Gujarati. (India-West file photo)

A recently-released report has revealed that more than 65 million people in the United States speak a foreign language at their home.

Analysis of the 2016 Census Bureau data by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that 65.5 million residents in the U.S. over the age of 5 speak a language other than English at their home, the CIS news release said.

The largest percentage increases since 2010 among languages with more than 400,000 speakers included two languages from India, Hindi and Gujarati, rising 33 percent and 14 percent respectively; as well as Urdu from Pakistan, up 22 percent. Other languages that have risen since 2010 include Arabic, Chinese, Persian and Haitian.

"The English language has always been part of the glue that holds our country together," said Steven Camarota, co-author of the report and director of research at the center, in a statement. "But the number of immigrants allowed into the country is now so large that it may be overwhelming the assimilation process, including learning English."

The new Census Bureau data shows that many Americans who speak a foreign language at home are not immigrants.

Half of the growth in foreign language speakers since 2010 is among those born in the United States. Overall, 44 percent, or 29 million, of those who speak a language other than English at home are U.S.-born.

The state with the largest share of their population speaking a foreign language at home in 2016 was California with 45 percent. Other states with a large portion of their residents speaking foreign languages at the home included Texas (36 percent), New Mexico (34), New Jersey (32), New York and Nevada (each 31 percent) and Florida (29 percent).

Wyoming was the state with the largest percentage increase in the number of foreign-language speakers from 2010 to 2016 at 25 percent. Other states included Utah (20 percent), Maryland (19), Nevada (18), Oklahoma (17), and Nebraska and North Dakota (both 16).

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.