Sandy Dietrich and Erik Hernandez at the US Census Bureau:
The number of people in the United States who spoke a language other than English at home nearly tripled from 23.1 million (about 1 in 10) in 1980 to 67.8 million (almost 1 in 5) in 2019, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.
At the same time, the number of people who spoke only English also increased, growing by approximately one-fourth from 187.2 million in 1980 to 241 million in 2019 (Figure 1).
The report, Language Use in the United States: 2019, uses American Community Survey (ACS) data to highlight trends and characteristics of the different languages spoken in the United States over the past four decades.
The Hispanic population is the largest minority group in the United States. So it is not surprising Spanish was the most common non-English language spoken in U.S. homes (62%) in 2019 – 12 times greater than the next four most common languages.