Older generations of Latinos in the United States use of Spanish in the home but these days it is becoming less common. Things are slowly beginning to change for Hispanics as they assimilate.
With over 37 million Hispanics in the United States who speak Spanish at home it is the country’s most common non-English language. But while the number of Latinos who speak Spanish at home continues to increase, the share of Latinos who speak the language has declined over the past decade or so. 73% of Latinos spoke Spanish at home in 2015, down from 78% in 2006, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
Spanish as the main among Latinos has seen a decline across the nation and is especially notable in all the top 25 U.S. metro areas with the largest population of Latinos ages 5 and older. Among the largest declines were in the San Antonio-New Braunfels and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro areas. Some of the smallest declines came in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro areas.
Most Latinos agree that speaking Spanish remains a vital skill that shouldn’t be lost. According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, almost all Latinos who were asked agreed that the next generation of Latinos in the United States should continue to speak Spanish. When asked if Spanish speaking is a prerequisite to being considered a Latino, 71 percent of Latinos asked said no.
Spanish spoken at home is more prevalent in areas where there is a population of new immigrants. In areas with more established Latino communities that have had more time to assimilate, use of Spanish in the home is declining.
With English still the primary language spoken in the U.S. band with Latinos making up a greater part of the population it remains to be seen how much of an impact the Spanish language will have in the future.