November 2, 2016

One in Five American Kids Speak a Language Other Than English at Home

One in five children in America — nearly 12 million kids total — speak a language other than English at home, according to the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

The prevalence of bilingual children varies widely by state, with higher concentrations of bilingual children living in the Southwest. Rates range from a low of 2% in West Virginia to a high of 45% in California.

Being bilingual is good for kids, research indicates. Exposure to multiple languages can enhance both a child’s communication skill and his or her cognitive abilities.

In the United States, the number of bilingual speakers is expected to increase, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center for more education data at the state and national level:

Child population by nativity
Children who have difficulty speaking English
Children who speak a language other than English at home