New Study Finds Hispanics Speaking Spanish on the Decline - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Study Finds Hispanics Speaking Spanish on the Decline

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Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the nation, but researchers expect Spanish speaking trends to change in the coming decades. Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the nation, but researchers expect Spanish speaking trends to change in the coming decades.

Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the nation, but researchers expect Spanish speaking trends to change in the coming decades.

This week the Pew Research Center released a new study on the state of Spanish in the United States. 

The report noted that the number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. is projected to grow to about 40 million by 2020, up from 37 million in 2011. However, among Hispanics the share that speak Spanish is projected to fall from about 75% now to 66% in 2020.

Like many generations of immigrants in the past, Italian-Americans gradually stopped speaking Italian, Chinese-Americans stopped speaking Chinese, and as Hispanic families establish roots in the U.S., their use of Spanish will fade as well.

"Even though the second and third generations are less likely to speak, there's more of an appreciation now for learning more than one language. I think more than past, some of the parents who speak Spanish are encouraging their children to speak," said Martin Valadez, Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The study also indicates the rise of Spanish use among non-Hispanics will keep the language alive in the U.S.

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