New data from the American Community Survey tells us that Spanish is the most popular language in the United States after English. According to the research, 41 million U.S. residents speak Spanish at home. Add those who speak Spanish as a second language, and you’re getting close to 50 million.
There are about 46 million Spanish speakers in Spain and 45 million in Columbia, so the U.S. is second only to Mexico in the prevalence of Spanish. English is the most popular language in all 50 states, but Spanish is the second choice in 46 states.
Spanish is not only the most common non-English native language in the U.S., it’s also the most common second language spoken at home. In fact, it has been predicted that by 2050, the United States will have the largest number of Spanish speakers of any nation in the world.
80% of those who speak Spanish at home in the United States say they speak English well. However, there are still millions who speak Spanish as their primary language. Here are the states which currently (according to Telelanguage) have the highest percentages of Spanish-only speakers:
- California, with over 10 million Spanish speakers
- Texas, with 7.37 million
- New Mexico, with 546,000
- Arizona, with 1.29 million
- Nevada, with 562,000
- Florida, with 5.94 million
When Puerto Rico joins the Union, it will not have the largest number of Spanish speakers among the states.
The official language
Puerto Rico, like Hawaii, will have two official languages: Spanish and English. The United States doesn’t have an official language. Congress has considered it in the past, but the federal government has recognized that the United States is a rich and diverse place. In 1780, an official-English bill was rejected for being undemocratic. Since then, many official-English bills have been introduced, but they have all been rejected, generally because they would threaten the rights of people who do not speak English.
The United States is unusual in that 75% of residents speak only one language. The size of the country and the popularity of English as a lingua franca for business and online communication make it easy for Americans to limit themselves to English. At least 30% of Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico consider themselves fluent in both English and Spanish. This makes the Island population more valuable for employers.
This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.