Whether at school, at work, or with friends, Hispanic Adult Millennials are likely to speak English in their everyday lives. According to Simmons, 76% of Hispanics 18 to 34 speak English at least half the time when outside the home.
But while they often use English when not at home, that doesn’t mean Hispanic young adults are giving up Spanish altogether. Many Hispanic Adult Millennials still live with their Spanish-speaking parents, and others who have moved out and formed their own families continue to speak it at home. As a result, they aren’t leaving Spanish behind.
Millennials in general see Spanish as an important language for the future. Both Hispanics and non-Hispanics believe that kids should learn it – especially so they can have an edge in their careers.
Tr3s explored first- and second-generation Hispanic Millennials’ relationship to Spanish in its 2012 research study, Hispanic Adult Millennials Living the Next Normal: Age of Uncertainty. Here are key findings from that study:
Mostly Spanish is spoken in the homes of nearly 9 out of 10 Hispanic Adult Millennials who live with their parents. For 86% of Hispanics 18 to 29 still living at home, people within the household speak Spanish at least half the time.
For almost 8 out of 10 Hispanic Adult Millennials living independently with their own families, mostly Spanish is spoken at home. Spanish is spoken at least half the time in the homes of 78% of Hispanics 18 to 29 who have formed their own families and households.
Nearly all Hispanic Adult Millennials believe it’s important for Hispanic children to learn Spanish. 96% agree that it’s important to teach Hispanic children Spanish.
Career opportunity is the main reason Hispanic Adult Millennials think Latino children should learn Spanish. Secondary reasons include retaining cultural connections and enabling communication with relatives here and in their country of heritage who don’t speak English.
Nearly two-thirds of non-Hispanic Millennials believe it’s important for kids to learn a second language – and Spanish is their top choice. About three-quarters of those who think kids should take on an idiom besides English said they should learn Spanish (with Chinese in a distant second place, at 11%).
Similar to Hispanics, opening career opportunities is the main motivation behind non-Hispanic Millennials’ belief that kids should learn Spanish. The next most important reason is that so many people in the US are speaking Spanish these days, it would be nice to join in.
Source: Tr3s 2012 “Hispanic Adult Millennials Living the Next Normal: Age of Uncertainty”