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Language Use in the United States: 2019

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English is the most common language spoken at home in the United States, with 78 percent of the U.S. population speaking only English. Since 1980, the number of people speaking only English at home has increased steadily; however, there was a proportionally greater increase for the population speaking a language other than English. In 1890, the U.S. Census Bureau began asking its respondents about the languages they speak, and it has continued to do so until the present day (except for the 1950 Census, when the question was omitted). The language questions may have changed since they were first asked in 1890; however, the same series of three questions (discussed in this report) has appeared on the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and on the annual American Community Survey (ACS) starting in 2005.


Page Last Revised - August 29, 2022
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