A Majority Of U.S. Latinos Use English Or Are Bilingual

 / Updated 
Image: Man walks past a mural in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, home to many Mexican and Central American migrants, in California
A man walks past a mural in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, home to many Mexican and Central American migrants, in California August 5, 2014. LUCY NICHOLSON / Reuters

About 62 percent of US Hispanic adults speak English or are bilingual, shows a new analysis of the Pew Research Center’s 2013 National Survey of Latinos.

Hispanics in the US are broken down into three groups: 36 percent are bilingual, 25 percent mainly use English and 38 percent mainly use Spanish. Of those who speak English, about 59 percent of them are bilingual.

The growth of the U.S. Latino population has the potential to affect the bilingualism of future generations, say Pew researchers. Currently, about half of Latino adults whose parents are immigrants are bilingual.

A past 2011 Pew Research Center survey showed that 95 percent said that it is important for future generations of US Latinos to speak Spanish. Eighty seven percent said Latino immigrants need to learn English in order to be successful.

Because of bilingualism, in 2013 Spanish was the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. Spanish is used by 35.8 million Hispanics in the U.S. plus an additional 2.6 million non-Hispanics.

In the 2013 Pew survey, bilingualism was linked to age. About 42 percent of Hispanics ages 18 to 29 are bilingual. For ages 30 to 49 and fifty to 64, only about one-third are bilingual. But, the percent rises to 40 for people 65 and older.

The Census Bureau projects that those who speak English at home will increase from 26 percent in 2013 to 34 percent in 2020 and those that speak Spanish at home will decrease from 73 percent to 66 percent.

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