Is Spanish on the decline in the U.S?
A Pew Research Center analysis finds a decrease in the share of U.S. Latinos who speak Spanish at home.
As the overall number of Spanish speakers increases in the U.S., a smaller percentage of Hispanics are speaking Spanish at home.
According to a report from Pew Research Center, the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. increased nearly 21 percent over a 10-year period, from about 31 million in 2006 to more than 37 million in 2015.
However, over the same time period, the percentage of Hispanics who speak Spanish at home decreased by five percent, from 78 percent in 2006 to 73 percent in 2015.
This trend is represented in each of the 25 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the largest Hispanic populations, including Philadelphia. This metro, which also contains cities such as Camden and Wilmington, saw the total number of Spanish-speaking people increase by 39 percent, from about 240,000 in 2006 to nearly 333,000 in 2015, but the percentage of Hispanics speaking Spanish at home dropped by eight percent, from 75 percent to 67 percent.
Of the 25 metropolitan areas studied, Phoenix, Arizona, and San Antonio, Texas, saw the most significant decreases in the percentage of Hispanics speaking Spanish at home. Both metros experienced declines of nine percent.
With decreases of two percent, these metropolitan areas saw the smallest reduction in the percentage of Hispanics speaking Spanish at home.
The report also found that three states accounted for 57 percent of all U.S. Latinos who spoke Spanish at home in 2015: California, Texas and Florida.
It should be noted that Pew’s analysis only accounts for Hispanics aged five years and older.
Perhaps reflecting the decline in the percentage of Spanish-speaking Hispanics in the country, mass media corporation Time Inc. recently announced that content produced for its newly launched Latino-focused digital platform — Time Inc. Latino — will be English-language led.