According to information collected during the last US Census, it is definitely a good idea for schools, libraries, clubs, public offices and business organizations to make sure they share information with their public and clients not only in English but also in a foreign language, especially in Spanish and Chinese.
The number of US residents who speak Spanish at home has experienced a stunning increase: it jumped from 11 million in 1980 to nearly 38 million in 2011. In other words, almost two-thirds of the nearly 61 million who speak a language other than English at home are Spanish speakers.
Surprisingly enough, analysts state the proficiency in English is not in danger. Over the last eight years, more Spanish speakers say that they speak English “less than very well”, which is not only a sign of confidence but an indicator that their speaking a foreign language at home does not interfere with their command of the English language.
A state where the bilingual speaking community is noticeable is definitely California: 54% of the over 18 million people aged 5 or more living in metropolitan Los Angeles speak other language (mainly Spanish) besides English.
With such a high number of Spanish speaking people, the US ranks fifth amongst the Spanish speaking countries of the world. It is behind Mexico (117 million), Spain (47.2 million), Colombia (47 million) and Argentina (41 million).
What about other foreign languages?
After Spanish, Chinese followed by a very distant margin: it is spoken by almost 3 million people. Other languages whose use at home has increased significantly are: Vietnamese, Persian, Russian, Korean, Armenian and Tagalog.