English Proficiency Rises Among Hispanics

Cheryl Russell analyzes the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends study, “English Proficiency on the Rise Among Latinos.”

According to the Pew study, although most Hispanics in the U.S. speak Spanish at home, a growing number, currently 33.2 million, speak English proficiently. Pew analyzed 2013 Census Bureau data, which revealed that 68% of all Hispanics ages 5+ are proficient in English vs. 59% in 2000.

During the same 13-year time frame, the share of Hispanics who speak Spanish at home has been declining. As of 2013, 73% of Latinos ages 5+ were speaking Spanish at home, down from 78% in 2000. However, a record number of Hispanics speak Spanish at home, 35.8 million, as the nation’s Hispanic population has grown.

The study also provides details of how “speaking English proficiently” is measured.

The results of the study have implications for the languages and messages developed by marketers in their campaigns to American Hispanics.

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