Pew Research Study Reveals 60 Percent of U.S. Hispanics Speak English or are Bilingual
Analysis released from the Pew Research Center's 2013 National Survey of Latinos shows that nearly 62 percent of U.S. Hispanic adults speak English or are bilingual.
The study grouped Hispanics living in the U.S. into three categories, revealing that 36 percent are bilingual, 25 percent mainly use English and 38 percent chiefly use Spanish when communicating with others. Meanwhile, 59 percent of English-speaking Hispanics are bilingual.
The research also found that adults born to immigrant parents are most likely to communicate in both English and Spanish. In the meantime, the percentages of Latino adults who speak English vary by age and the amount of time the immigrants have spent in the U.S.
"The more time Latino immigrants have been in the country, the more probable it is they will use English more, even as they gradually lose command of their native tongue," Jens Manuel Krogstad, one of the authors of the study, told EFE.
There is also a strong correlation between bilingualism and age.
"Some 42% of Hispanics ages 18 to 29 are bilingual. That share falls to about a third among Hispanics ages 30 to 49 and ages 50 to 64, but rises again, to 40%, among those ages 65 and older," states the study.
The growth of bilingualism has fueled the popularity of Spanglish, which is mix of English-Spanish spoken by 70 percent of Hispanics between the ages of 16 to 25, according to Pew.
"In the future, and as the younger generations born in the United States grow, more English will be spoken and less the native tongue," Krogstad said.
"That 1 percent does not mean that third-generation Latinos don't speak Spanish. It means the 1 percent speaks mostly Spanish. But they all speak Spanish a lot. A fourth of third-generation Latinos are bilingual," the researcher added.
The study also noted that the mass majority of Hispanic adults say it is impertative for future generations to be capable of speaking English.
In fact, "fully 87% said Latino immigrants need to learn English to succeed," the Pew Research Center's study found.
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