Pew Hispanic Center: Latinos Getting News In English More Than Spanish

A growing share of Latino adults speak English well and, tied to that, they are getting more of their news in English and declining to do so in Spanish.

According to a new poll by the Pew Research Hispanic Center, 82 percent of Hispanic adults said English was how they got at least some of their news from television, print, radio and the Internet. This is up from 78 percent who said the same in 2006.

On the flip side, those who got some of their news in Spanish has declined to 68 percent in 2012 compared to 78 percent in 2006.

Half of the Latino adults surveyed by Pew said they get their news in both languages, slightly down from 57 percent in 2010.

The rise in use of English news sources has been driven by an increase in the share of Hispanics who say they get their news exclusively in English.

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According to the survey, one-third of Hispanic adults in 2012 got their news exclusively in English, while the share of Hispanic adults who did so in their mother tongue was just 18 percent.

Among the reasons given by Pew for this change in news consumption are, other than a growing share of Latino adults who speak English well, a slowdown in immigration, more time spent growing up in the U.S. and an increasing number of U.S.-born Latino adults.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, today 59 percent of Latino adults speak English proficiently, up from 54 percent in 2006 and 2000.

The report also breaks down Latino viewing habits.

Television is the most popular platform for Latinos to get their news (86 percent), while 56 percent said they get their news online — this is up from 36 percent in 2006.

Also, the report stated, Hispanics who only get their news in Spanish are less likely to “keep up with the news” than those who do so in English.

“Latino adults on average use 2.4 news media platforms among the four tested –television, print newspapers, radio and the Internet– when they consume news media,” according to the report.

And even as the share of Hispanic adults who consume news media in Spanish declined, the number of potential Spanish news media consumers is growing as a result of the “rapid overall rise in the number of Hispanics in the U.S.— to 52 million in 2011, up from 35 million in 2000.”

This report is primarily based on a bilingual telephone survey of 1,765 Latino adults conducted in all 50 states from September 7 to October 4, 2012. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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