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Vast Majority of Americans Support Official English

National polling data indicates that the overwhelming majority of Americans, including Hispanics, support making English the official language.   

  • A 2010 poll found that 87% of Americans support making English the official language of the United States. [11]

  • 78% of Hispanics believe English should be the official language of government operations. [2]

  • 82% of Americans support legislation that would require the federal government to conduct business solely in English. [3]

  • 67% of likely U.S. Voters think election ballots should be printed only in English. [16]

  • 83% of Americans believe new immigrants should learn English. [1]

  • 77% of Americans believe it is crucial for immigrants living in the United States to speak English. [12]

  • 79% of Republicans and 59% of Democrats reject the idea that all Americans should know multiple languages. Among unaffiliated voters, 68% say their fellow citizens do not need to know a language other than English. [14]

Government should do more to preserve the role of English.

  • 92% of Americans believe that preserving English as our common language is vital to maintaining our unity; 69% agree that the United States is at risk of becoming 'disunited' by language. [4]

  • 78% of Americans believe that the government should do more to help immigrants learn English; More Americans also believe that Congress and the President aren't doing enough to preserve America's unity in the English language (60%-26%).  [4]

  • 79% of Americans believe immigrants should be required to learn English before they are granted citizenship; only 14% disagree. [5]

  • 68% of Americans oppose bilingual or multilingual election ballots. [6]
Most immigrants say learning English is essential.
  • 91% of foreign-born Latino immigrants agree that learning English is essential to succeed in the U.S., according to a 2002 Kaiser Family Foundation poll. [7]

  • A 2002 Carnegie/Public Agenda poll found that by more than a 2-1 margin immigrants themselves say the U.S. should expect new immigrants to learn English. [8]

Most immigrants reject bilingual education.

  • The 2002 Carnegie/Public Agenda poll found that 73% of immigrants believe schools should teach English as quickly as possible. 63% said that they believe that all teaching should be done in English, while only 32% supported allowing some teaching in their native languages. [8]

  • Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic adults --65 percent -- favor making English the nation's official language. [9]

  • 68% of Hispanics say that the goal of bilingual education programs should be to make sure that students learn English well. [13]
Most young Americans want English as the official language.
  • 72% of young adults favor a law making English the official language of the United States. [10]

Most Americans reject the idea that requiring people to speak English is racist.

  • Just 12% of voters believe that requiring employees to speak English is a form of racism or bigotry. Seventy-nine percent (79%) reject that notion and believe the requirement is not racist or bigoted. [11]

Most U.S. voters believe if you move to America, you should adopt American culture.

  • 73% of voters believe that those who move to America should adopt American culture.  Again, this level of support has remained largely consistent for years. [15]

Support for official English is across partisan lines.

  • 95% of those who work in the private sector think companies should be allowed to require their employees to speak English on the job. [11a]
  • 80% of whites, blacks and those of other racial and ethnic backgrounds agree that requiring people to speak English is not a form of racism or bigotry. [11a]

1. Survey conducted by the Winston Group in August 2007. 1,000 voters were randomly chosen for the poll.

2. 1,007 likely voters were polled by Zogby International, March 30-31, 2006. The margin of error was +/- 3.2%

3. 1,000 likely voters were polled by Zogby International, January 15-18, 2004. The margin of error was +/- 3.2%

4. 1,019 likely voters were polled by Zogby International, December 12-14, 2006. The margin of error was +/- 3.2%

5. 1,000 likely voters were polled Rasmussen Reports, June 17-18. 2005.The margin of error was +/- 3%.

6. Poll of adults by Rasmussen Reports, June 30, 2006.

7. Brodie, Mollyann. Suro, Roberto. '2002 National Survey of Latinos'. Kaiser Family Foundation. Pew Hispanic Center. December, 2002.

8. Duffet, Ann. Johnson, Jean. Farkas, Steve. 'Now That I'm Here'. Public Agenda. 2003.

9. Survey from Zogby International.

10. Surrvey conducted by Harvard University.

11. '87% Say English Should Be U.S. Official Language'. Rasmussen Reports. May 11, 2010.

11a. [11a]August 2010

12. McComb, Chris. 'About One in Four Americans Can Hold a Conversation in a Second Language'. Gallup. April 6, 2001.

13. '2002 National Survey of Hispanic Adults'. The Latino Coalition. Washington, DC. August 20, 2002. 

14. Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, June 2008.

15. '58% Want English-Only Ballots'. Rasmussen Reports. June 11, 2011. 

16. ' Toplines-Languages-June 2, 2008'. Rasmussen Reports. June 2, 2008

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