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US Survey: Many White Republicans Wary Around Foreign Languages

FILE - The mascots of the Democratic and Republican parties, a donkey for the Democrats and an elephant for the GOP, are seen on a video screen at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, March 8, 2016.

A new poll shows 47 percent of white Republicans in the United States say it would bother them some or a lot to hear people speak a language other than English in a public place.

The statistic came from a new study by the Pew Research Center about people's attitudes toward racial and ethnic diversity. Experts surveyed more than 6,600 respondents via self-administered surveys for the report that came out Wednesday.

The researchers found that Democrats had a higher comfort level with foreign languages than did Republicans. In comparison to the 47 percent of Republicans who would be bothered by foreign languages, 18 percent of Democrats would find that situation uncomfortable.

Respondents were also divided by age and education: The younger and better-educated the respondent was, the more likely he or she was to be comfortable around foreign languages.

People who self-identified as white were most likely to be bothered by foreign languages, followed by African Americans, Asians and Hispanics.

The U.S. does not have an official language, but some states have passed laws making English the state language.

The study said more than 20 percent of U.S. residents speak a languages other than English at home. The majority of those respondents said they were also fluent in English.