In the U.S., one in five does not speak English at home

October 15, 2014

About one in five Americans do not speak English at home, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau data.

An all-time high of about 61 million people, or about 20.8 percent, speak a language other than English at home, its 2013 American Community Survey said, up from 59 million in 2010.

In 1990, that percentage was 14 percent, and in 2000, 18 percent.

Languages that saw the biggest jumps in home use were Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Urdu.

The number of at-home Spanish speakers rose by 1.4 million people in three years, Chinese by 220,000, Arabic by 188,000 and Urdu by 50,000, data showed.

Korean speakers, on the other hand, saw a decrease in at-home speaking. About 1.1 million speak Korean at home, down 30,000 from 2010. Still, in 2000, the total number was 894,000.

Among states, California had the highest percentage of people who spoke non-English languages at home, with 45 percent.