Pew Research study finds more Latinos get their news in English

A Pew Hispanic Center study found that more Latinos are getting their news from English-language sources. Above, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos during election night Nov. 7, 2012, from ABC News’ Times Square Studios in New York.
(Donna Svennevik / Associated Press)

More than three-quarters of all Latino adults get their news in English, according to a comprehensive study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

The Pew Hispanic Center’s 2012 National Survey of Latinos found that 82% of Latino adults said they obtained at least some of their news in English — up from 78% in a 2006 survey.

The increase was propelled by a growing number of Latinos who said they seek their news exclusively from English language sources. Nearly a third of Latino adults surveyed said they get all of their news in English, up from 22% in 2006.

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Conversely, the percentage of Latinos who get at least some of their news in Spanish has declined.

Pew Hispanic Center’s findings were not surprising.  Immigration has slowed in recent years, and now just over half (51%) of all Latino adults are immigrants.  Most of the growth in the Latino population has come from U.S. births. Each year, an estimated 800,000 young U.S. born Latinos enter adulthood.

In addition, 59% of Latinos in the U.S. speak English well, up from 54% in 2006.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a record 31 million Latinos 5 and older are proficient in English, up from 19 million in 2000.

The survey was conducted for the Pew Hispanic Center in September and early October through telephone interviews with 1,765 Latinos living in the U.S.


Margin of error for the sample was plus or minus 3.2%.

The results depict an increasingly acculturated population. Fifty-nine percent of U.S.-born Latinos said they turn exclusively to English-language news sources while 39% said they seek information in English and Spanish. Only 2% of U.S.-born Latinos said they turned to Spanish-language media exclusively for news.

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Age and education were key indicators with younger Latinos increasingly gravitating to English formats. Forty-one percent of Latinos ages 18 to 29 said they consumed news only in English.

In contrast, among those 65 and older, 43% said they received their news exclusively in Spanish.

Pew Hispanic’s findings underscore the rationale behind a high-profile joint venture by ABC News and Spanish-language television giant Univision Communications. The media companies are planning to launch a 24-hour cable news channel called Fusion that will be programmed in English. 

Fusion is expected to be the first major foray into English-language programming by Univision. The network is expected to target young Latinos.

Top news outlets include television, the Internet, print and radio. TV remains the primary source for news, but the Internet has been gaining shares.


An estimated 86% of Latino adults said they get their news from television on a typical weekday.  More than half (56%) said that on a typical weekday they learned news on the Internet.


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