The statistic far outpaces the overall population growth.
According a new report from the Census Bureau, some 60.6 million people, nearly 1 in 5 people age 5 or older, speak a language other than English in 2011, up from 23 million in 1980.
The number rose by an incredible 158 percent over the three decades - the population grew only 38 percent.
Here are the shocking statistics:
- Those speaking a language other than English at home (7 percent), said they spoke English "not at all," including 9.7 percent of Chinese speakers and 9 percent of Spanish speakers. Another 15.4 percent of those who speak another language at home said they spoke English "not well."
- Among those who speak a language other than English at home, nearly two-thirds or 37.6 million speak Spanish, up from 11 million in 1980.
- Chinese was the next most widely spoken language in 2011 with nearly 2.9 million speakers, followed by Tagalog, widely spoken in the Philippines (1.6 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million) and Arabic (951,700).
European languages with more than 1 million at-home speakers are French (1.3 million).
Speakers of Scandinavian languages were most likely to say they spoke English "very well" (90.6 percent) followed by speakers of Native-American languages other than Navajo (85.4 percent).
The number of Americans who speak Spanish in the home rose 231.8 percent from 1980 to 2010, but that increase was outpaced by speakers of Vietnamese (599 percent), Russian (393 percent) and Chinese (345 percent).
Texas is the state with the largest percentage of the population speaking English "not at all" (8.9 percent) followed by California and Mississippi (8.4 percent) and Florida (8.3 percent). Montana has the lowest, 0.4 percent.
Among cities, Laredo, Texas, has the largest percentage of residents who speak a language other than English at home (92.1 percent).
The Census Bureau noted, "While increased immigration led to gains for some language groups, other groups experienced aging populations and dwindling migrant flow into the United States. As the nation continues to be a destination for people from other lands, this pattern of language diversity will also likely continue."
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