Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from US Census Bureau
- Several candidates spoke in Spanish during the first 2020 Democratic presidential debates Wednesday.
- The US is home to 41 million Spanish speakers, a key voting bloc for Democrats.
- Here are the cities where more people speak Spanish than English-only.
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The ability to speak Spanish has become an asset in the race for US president.
Several Democratic presidential candidates spoke in Spanish during the first 2020 presidential debate on Wednesday, notably former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas. The trend may continue into Thursday’s debate, when the remaining candidates will face-off.
Democrats are likely to court the Hispanic vote to win the race, as Hispanic Americans are projected to make up a little over 13% of the electorate for 2020, and 69% of Latinos voted democratic during the 2018 midterms.
According to the Pew Research Center, 41 million people speak Spanish in the US, and the majority of Latino adults are bilingual. In some areas of the US, especially in cities around the Southwest, you’re more likely to hear Spanish than English.
The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey asks over a million Americans each year dozens of questions about their social, demographic, and economic situations. One of the questions asks respondents to indicate what primary languages they speak.
Based on results from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, the 22 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas highlighted in the map above have more residents who speak Spanish than who just speak English and nothing else.
Here are the areas where there are more Spanish speakers than people who only speak English.
Salinas, California: 47.5% of this county speaks Spanish.
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Share of the population that speaks only English: 45.9%
Total population (over age 5): 400,322
Las Cruces, New Mexico: 49.6% of this city speaks Spanish.
Share of the population that speaks only English: 48.3%
Total population (over age 5): 199,100
Deming, New Mexico: 50% of the population speaks Spanish.
Share of the population that speaks only English: 48.6%
Total population (over age 5): 22,523
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