A report by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found 68 per cent of Hispanics spoke only English at home or spoke English very well in 2013, up from 59 per cent in 2000. The share of Hispanics speaking Spanish at home dropped to 73 per cent from 78 per cent over the same period.
The shift comes as migration to the United States from Latin America has slowed.
"This is part of a broader trend, which is the U.S.-born driving many of the characteristics of the community, and it is only going to become more amplified," said Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew's director of Hispanic research.
Even so, the number of Hispanics who speak Spanish at home reached a record 35.8 million because of overall growth in the Hispanic population. The report found the number of Hispanics who speak proficient English also hit a record 33.2 million.
The Hispanic population in the United States surged 53 per cent to 54 million from 2000 to 2013, driven largely by growth among U.S.-born Hispanics, not immigrants, according to Pew. That's compared with 12 per cent growth in the total population.
About half of U.S.-born Hispanics speak Spanish, and about half of their children retain the language, Lopez said. The recent rise of English-language media geared toward Hispanics is responding to this trend, he said.
The language report, which was based on an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data for Hispanics age 5 and older, found 89 per cent of U.S.-born Latinos spoke proficient English in 2013, up from 81 per cent in 2000. For Hispanic immigrants, English proficiency was greater among those with higher levels of education, the report showed.
In Southern California, Rene Amel Peralta, 28, said he's increasingly used English as he pursues his college degree in chemistry. He said he had all but stopped using Spanish — the only language he knew until he came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 13 — but has started speaking it again more recently to reconnect with his culture.
"Since I am getting a university education, my English language is becoming more academic, something I don't have at all in Spanish," he said. "In Spanish, I have the very basics. It is basically street Spanish."Suggest a correction