As of 2000, 76.91% of Florida residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a first language, while 16.46% spoke Spanish, and French Creole (predominantly Haitian Creole) was spoken by 1.38% of the population.
French was spoken by 0.83%, followed by German at 0.59%, and Italian at 0.44% of all residents. Also, Portuguese comprised 0.36%, while Tagalog made up 0.25% of speakers, Arabic was at 0.21% and Vietnamese at 0.20%. In all, 23.80% of Florida's population age 5 and older spoke a language other than English at home.
As of 2005, 74.54% of Florida residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a first language, while 18.65% spoke Spanish, and French Creole (predominantly Haitian Creole) was spoken by 1.73% of the population. French was spoken by 0.63%, followed by German at 0.45%, and Portuguese at 0.44% of all residents. Also, Italian comprised 0.32%, while Tagalog made up 0.30% of speakers, Vietnamese was at 0.25% and Arabic at 0.23%. In all, 25.45% of Florida's population age 5 and older spoke a language other than English.
This means English decreased by -2.37%, Spanish increased +2.21%, French Creole (including Haitian Creole) increased by +0.35%, French decreased by -0.20%, German decreased by -0.14%, Italian decreased by -0.12%, Portuguese increased by +0.08%, Tagalog increased by +0.05%, Arabic increased by +0.02%, and Vietnamese increased by +0.05% of languages spoken.
Florida's climate makes it a popular state for immigrants. Florida's public education system identifies over 200 first languages other than English spoken in the homes of students. In 1990, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) won a class action lawsuit against the state Florida Department of Education that required educators to be trained in teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
Article II, Section 9, of the Florida Constitution provides that "English is the official language of the State of Florida." This provision was adopted in 1988 by a vote following an Initiative Petition.