Jan 3rd 2011, 20:28 by G.L. | NEW YORKEVERYONE knows the number of Spanish-speakers in the United States is increasing—but where in the United States? Last month the Census Bureau released data from its latest American Community Survey showing the percentage of people aged five and over who speak Spanish at home. This survey took place over five years from 2005 to 2009, so it's not a snapshot, but with that caveat in mind, it does show small but notable differences from the 2000 census, both in the overall percentage of Spanish speakers (up to 12.1% from 10.7% in 2000) and in where they are concentrated: increasingly in the north and centre of the country.
The maps below show those differences, but to see them it's actually easier to click on the maps, open them full-size in separate browser tabs and flip between them. What you'll notice is:
- smaller concentrations of Spanish-speakers in parts of the southern states that used to be in Mexico: New Mexico, Arizona, south-west Texas and southern Colorado
- a distinct increase in the north-west: northern California, Oregon, Washington and western Idaho
- patches of increase all across the central states, and more noticeably, in Florida, Georgia and the eastern seaboard
- most impervious to change are the far north—Montana and the Dakotas—and deep south: Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama