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A new year brings new opportunities to better serve your limited-English proficient (LEP) patients, customers, and clients. Let’s review some of the latest immigration and language trends that can help you refine and enhance your language access plan in 2024:

Immigration Trends

Immigration facts

The US welcomes more immigrants than any other country, with over 1 million immigrants arriving each year. In 2018, immigrants made up about 13% of the US population. (Pew Research)

  • Immigrants and their descendants are projected to account for 88% of US population growth through 2065.
  • California, Texas, Florida, New York, and New Jersey are the top five US states with the most immigrants.
  • Immigrants constituted 17% (28.6 million people) of the civilian labor force (166.9 million) in 2021.
  • 47% of immigrants who entered the country between 2017 and 2021 held at least a bachelor’s degree.

Country of origin facts

While the US population represents about 5% of the total world population, close to 20% of all global migrants reside in the United States. The most common countries of origin include Mexico, India, and China. (Migration Policy Institute)

  • In 2021, 44% of US immigrants (19.9 million people) reported having Hispanic or Latino ethnic origins.

Increase in Asian immigrants

During the last 50 years, the number of Asian immigrants in the United States has increased rapidly, from about 0.5 million in 1960 to 13.9 million in 2018, when the last American Community Survey was conducted. In 2018, those born in Asia represented over 30% of the total foreign-born population in the nation.

People from Asian countries are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the US by 2055. These immigrants represent a wide variety of cultural and linguistic diversity from Asia, which consists of 52 countries and 4.6 billion people. Out of the 7,000 languages spoken worldwide, 2,300 of the world’s languages can be found in Asia alone.

The US Census reports that of the 13.9 million foreign-born from Asia:

  • 30% are from South Eastern Asia, including 2 million from the Philippines and 1.3 million from Vietnam
  • 30% from Eastern Asia, including 2.8 million from China and 1 million from Korea
  • 29% from South Central Asia, including 2.6 million from India
  • Almost 8% from Western Asia or the Middle East

Language Trends

Of the 45 million immigrants reported in 2021, approximately 46% (20.8 million) are LEP (limited-English proficient), accounting for 80% of the country’s 25.9 million LEP individuals. (Migration Policy Institute)

  • Spanish remains CyraCom’s most-requested interpretation language, with Mandarin, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Russian comprising the rest of our top 5 languages.
  • According to a recent survey, the demand for employees with language skills other than English is constantly rising in the US. (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages)

Key Takeaways

As the diversity of immigrants continues to grow, your organization must find a way to communicate with patients and customers who speak a variety of languages. Understanding immigration and language trends can help you plan ahead.

  • Language barriers can impact the quality of service your organization provides to LEP patients and customers.
  • Marketing to LEP people in their preferred languages may help you grow market share.
  • Remote interpretation and translation services help you bridge the language gap.

Want help implementing your language services strategies for 2024?

Contact our team at today to ask questions or set up a zero-risk consultation.

Lindsay Lawson

Lindsay Lawson

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in interpreting and translation services, how language works.