According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over half the residents aged 18-34 in Los Angeles speak more than one language.
That figure dips to 25% across the nation. Although the last quarter-century has seen a rise in bilingual speakers, the number of foreign-born members of the 18-34 age group in Los Angeles has actually diminished.
Psychology Today reported in 2012 that the 2007 American Community Survey found over 55 million people in America speaking a language other than English at home, 51 million of whom knew and spoke English. That meant 18% of the nation was bilingual, which rose to 20% in 2012.
University of California Los Angeles Professor Raul Hinojosa told the Voice of America that immigrant parents are more insistent that their children retain their native language than they have been in the past. He said:
I’ve definitely seen a sea change in the last ten years. … That was unexpected historically and I think it’s going to have a huge impact both obviously in terms of the Latino population going forward but probably other generations, other demographies that are now also making the choice not to eliminate the original language but follow the same path of pride. Mandarin is going to be encouraged. Japanese is going to be encouraged. Vietnamese is going to be encouraged.
Hinojosa believes, with the ever-increasing influx of minorities into the United States, the trend toward bilingualism will grow. He asserted, “There’s a real fundamental ethno-racial transformation which is now permanent and will continue in the United States and it is inevitable that by the end of the century the entire country will now be definitely majority not-white in origin.”