Census: Big jump in non-English speakers
Top of list: Spanish, Chinese, Russian
Nearly one in five Americans speaks a language other than English at home, the Census Bureau says, after a surge of nearly 50 percent during the past decade. Most speak Spanish, followed by Chinese, with Russian rising fast.
Some 47 million Americans 5 and older used a language other than English in 2000, the bureau said. That translates into the nearly one in five, compared with roughly one in seven 10 years earlier.
There were also more people considered "linguistically isolated" because of limited English, a situation that some analysts say can prevent people from assimilating fully into American society and hinder activities like grocery shopping or communicating with police or fire officials.(Summarized from the South Bend Tribune)
Top 20 languages
The top 20 languages other than English most frequently spoken at home in the United States, and the number of people 5 and older who speak those languages, according to the 2000 census:
French Creole 453,368