Latinos favoring English over Spanish

Fewer Latinos in the United States speak Spanish and an increasing number only speak English when at home, according to the finding of a study released yesterday by the Pew Research Center. Proficiency with English among American Latinos has risen sharply in the last 14 years, largely driven by the amount of Latino youngsters being born in the country, the center’s analysis of 2014 data from the Census Bureau indicates.

Almost 50 percent of Latino youths born in the United States are under the age of 18 and 88 percent of those only speak English when at home, or are at least highly proficient in the speaking of the language. The 2014 data shows a rise of 15 percent from the 73 percent recorded 14 years earlier back in 2000.

The share of Latinos between the age of 18 and 33 who say they are proficient in spoken English or who only speak English at home also saw an increase to 79% from the previous figure of 56 percent in the same time period. The findings of the study are no surprise to those familiar with the history of immigrant integration within the United States.

USC associate professor of sociology Jody Agius Vallejo says that the data merely bears out a longstanding phenomenon in regards to immigrant integration, wherein the first generation tends to speak Spanish, the second becomes bilingual and the third monolingual, belying the idea that Latinos do not assimilate.