5 Top findings from new study on Hispanics in America

New survey reveals where Latinos stand on issues from church to family

Nearly 53 million Latinos live in America and represent the nation’s largest ethnic minority. Where do they stand on issues of immigration, language, worship and work? A new study— Barna: Hispanics— finds out.

The study—a collaboration among American Bible Society, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, OneHope and Barna Group—shows that Hispanics agree on the importance of successfully integrating into America. But various factors, including language and work, have a bearing on that success.

We’ve culled the research and deliver our top 5 findings:

  1. Most Hispanics living in the United States have been here for a while—on average, 25 years. Seven out of 10—are legal, U.S. residents.
  2. Speaking English is critical to long-term success in America. In the survey, respondents had the option to answer in either English or Spanish. Most chose English, and nearly half (48 percent) said they were bilingual. Those who responded in Spanish were much less fluent in English. Nearly half (47 percent) said they spoke English “just a little.”
  3. Church is the one institution that offers Hispanics the chance to participate in their first language. Surprisingly, though, nearly 32 percent said they preferred to attend services in English vs. 25 percent who preferred Spanish-only services. Forty-three percent prefer bilingual worship.
  4. Work ethic is a key facet of Hispanic identity. In fact, 24 percent named it the second greatest contribution to American society, following commitment to family, (36 percent).
  5. Hispanics see social value in their work. More than two-thirds—69 percent—agree that their work helps make the world a better place. This number is slightly higher among Catholics (72 percent) than it is among people who claim no faith or are not Christian (58 percent).

Although these survey results show consensus on some key issues, Hispanics are a diverse group of cultures, said Clint Jenkin, vice president of research at Barna Group.

“When we dig into the data, we find diverse attitudes and behaviors that reflect this complexity,” said Jenkin. Language preference, nation of origin and acculturation levels all influence how Hispanics engage with broader American culture.

For more information on the study, visit Barna’s website.

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Maria Wolf
Maria Wolf

Maria Wolf is an editor at American Bible Society and has more than 20 years of experience as a journalist. She is a classically trained soprano who uses her gift of music to minister to the congregations of St. Gertrude in West Conshohocken, Pa., and Mother of Divine Providence in King of Prussia, Pa.

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