Non-English Speaking Population Explodes in U.S.

By Mary Silver
Epoch Times Staff
Created: April 29, 2010 Last Updated: April 29, 2010
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The percentage of people in the United States who speak a language other than English in the home grew tremendously in a generation, according to the Census Bureau.

While the country’s population has grown 34 percent since 1980, the percentage of non-English speakers has expanded by 140 percent. Most were Spanish speakers, and almost half were born in the United States.

The next most common language spoken in U.S. homes is Chinese. However, the largest increase was seen among Vietnamese speakers, who have increased by an extraordinary 511 percent since 1980.

Census information on language use is employed to make marketing decisions, plan for the needs of school children, and analyze trends.

The Voting Rights Act requires governments to offer voting materials in languages other than English. Though non-English speaking households have increased, a majority of people in those households reported that they speak English fluently.

According to the report, Asian and Pacific islanders have the lowest percentage of English fluency—50 percent compared to 70 percent of speakers of other languages. There are 303 languages besides English being spoken in the United States. A table of all the languages can be found at


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