July 23, 2013

A Growing Share of Latinos Get Their News in English

II. Demographics and Language of News Media Consumption

PHC-hispanic-media-2-01Across demographic subgroups of Latino adults, the language of news media consumption varies.

About six-in-ten (59%) of native-born Latinos say they consume news media only in English, 39% say they consume news media in English and Spanish, and just 2% say they consume news media only in Spanish. By contrast, only 11% of immigrant Hispanics say they consume news media only in English, 59% say they do so in both languages and 31% say they get their news in Spanish only.

Immigrant generation is also linked to news media consumption language. For example, while 11% of foreign-born Hispanics get their news exclusively in English, that share rises to 47% among second-generation Hispanics and to 74% among Hispanics in the third generation or higher. Meanwhile, the share that consumes at least some news media in Spanish falls through the generations, from 90% among immigrant Hispanics to 53% among second-generation Hispanics and just 26% among those in the third or higher generation.

Language of news media consumption also varies with language dominance. According to the survey, three-in-four (75%) English-dominant Hispanics get their news only in English. By contrast, among those who are bilingual, 64% consume news media in English and Spanish. And among those who are Spanish dominant, 43% get their news only in Spanish and an additional 54% get news in both English and Spanish.

Age is also related to the language of news consumption. Four-in-ten (41%) Latinos ages 18 to 29 say they consume news media only in English. By contrast, among those ages 65 and older, 43% say they consume news media only in Spanish.

There are also marked differences in language of news media consumption by educational attainment and family income. About half (53%) of Hispanics with at least some college education get their news only in English, while only 9% of those without a high school diploma get their news in English exclusively. Similarly, six-in-ten Hispanics with family incomes above $50,000 get their news only in English, compared with 22% of those with incomes under $30,000.