As of July 2016, the state of California had a population of approximately 39,250,017; the most populated state in the country. But according to the Census Bureau, the golden state has become more of a melting pot these days.
According to new data, almost 45 percent of people five-years-old or older do not actively speak English at home in the state. That’s almost 17.6 million people! Almost 19 percent of California residents 5 and older “do not speak English very well.” This makes California #1 in ranking among the states for both of these categories.
Nationwide, 21.6 percent speak a language other than English at home.
Texas follows California, ranking second at 35.6 percent. New Mexico ranked third (34.5 percent); New Jersey ranked fourth (31.7 percent) and New York came in fifth (31.0 percent).
Last year, 18.6 percent of people five or older in California spoke English less than very well.
California also led the nation in the percentage of residents who are foreign-born, 27.2 percent. Nationwide, according to the Census Bureau, 13.5 percent of the people are foreign-born.
The Census Bureau examines what languages people speak in their homes and how well they speak English in its American Community Survey.
“We ask one question about whether people speak a language other than English at home, what language they speak, and how well they speak English to create a profile of the languages spoken in communities,” says the Census Bureau on its website.
The first question on language is a yes-no question: “Does this person speak a language other than English at home?”
If the answer is “yes,” there are two follow up questions: “What is this language?” “How well does this person speak English?” For this last question, respondents have the option to answer: very well, well, not well, or not at all.
According to Effortless English, finding an English-speaking conversation partner is one of the easiest ways to get better at speaking English. Recording your conversations is also a great way to maximize the possible benefits of speaking with a native English speaker. Listening to English songs and English movies can help you become familiar with the rhythms and intonations of the language.