13Sep
roadmap of the United States
By: Dan On: September 13, 2016 In: Languages Comments: 24
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The number of people in the US who speak a language other than English has more than doubled since 1980. That’s hardly surprising, given the ever-expanding diversity of language in the United States and the increasing trend toward bilingual households, but a few of the most common non-English languages spoken might surprise you.

According to a 2011 Census Bureau report, the following are the most popular languages in the United States:

10) Italian

Representing the largest decline on this list, Italian claims only 723,632 speakers – half as many as in 1980. Italian can still be heard in places like New York, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

9) Russian

The 905,843 Russian-speakers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco, among other cities, have increased by 391 percent since 1980.

8) Arabic

The Arabic-speaking population in the US is larger than most people likely realize — especially in Dearborn, Michigan. As of 2011, the census recorded 951,699 native Arabic speakers. In 1980, there were only 251,409 Arabic speakers on record.

7) Korean

Speakers of Korean, located mainly in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and Chicago, have quadrupled over the last thirty years — they now number 1,141,277.

6) German

Found primarily in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC, German-speakers number 1,083,637, which is actually a 30 percent decrease in speakers since 1980.

5) French

The 1,301,443 French-speakers found primarily in New York, Washington DC, Boston and Miami. This number represents a 28 percent increase compared to 1980.

4) Vietnamese

With an increase of 510 percent since 1980, Vietnamese is the language with the biggest change. There are 1,419,539 speakers found in Los Angeles, San Jose, Houston and Dallas, among other cities.

3) Tagalog

This language from the Philippines boasts 1,594,413 speakers in the US – slightly more than tripling its numbers in the last three decades, and recently surpassing French and Vietnamese on this list. Speakers of Tagalog are concentrated mainly in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and San Diego.

2) Chinese

Just about 2,882,497 people speak a Chinese dialect such as Mandarin or Cantonese, an increase of 290 percent! You’re most likely to find Chinese dialect-speakers in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

1) Spanish

With 37,579,787 speakers, the number of Spanish-speakers in the US has increased by 210 percent since 1980, with the highest concentrations in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago.

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24 Comments:

    • elijah
    • October 25, 2016
    • Reply

    lovin it

    • noah
    • November 07, 2016
    • Reply

    where is English?

      • Chelsea
      • November 07, 2016
      • Reply

      Hi Noah, this top 10 list features the most popular languages in the US outside of English.

        • Chanelle
        • May 09, 2017
        • Reply

        OOOOOOOOHHHHHH! That makes a lot more sense.

      • Waleed MB
      • February 12, 2017
      • Reply

      All these are after English

      • Chanelle
      • May 09, 2017
      • Reply

      Exactly!!!

    • crystal THE AWESOME
    • November 09, 2016
    • Reply

    i’m learning french should i just learn spainish and chinese xD

      • Rosalina792
      • December 20, 2016
      • Reply

      Cool

      • Arianna
      • February 02, 2017
      • Reply

      I think you should learn Spanish. Mandarin Chinese takes a very long time to learn and you should not learn it just because it has many speakers. Chinese dialects are native to only a select few countries.
      Spanish is easier for English speakers and is widely spoken. Around 21 countries have Spanish as their official language. Border states and states along the Gulf of Mexico have a lot of Spanish speakers as well.
      But it all depends on what you want to do.

    • koko
    • December 20, 2016
    • Reply

    Very nice post

    • Rosalina792
    • December 20, 2016
    • Reply

    Where’s english?

      • Chelsea
      • December 20, 2016
      • Reply

      Hi Rosalina,
      This top 10 list features the most popular languages in the US outside of English. English is the most common language spoken in the US.

    • Geoff
    • January 21, 2017
    • Reply

    What? No Native American languages???

      • Arianna
      • February 02, 2017
      • Reply

      Navajo is the most spoken Native American Language and has less than 200,000 speakers. Navajo probably wouldn’t make the top 25. It really is sad.

    • Gerald
    • February 09, 2017
    • Reply

    Looking forward to reading more. Great article post.Much thanks again.
    insurancewhisper

    • Harley
    • February 17, 2017
    • Reply

    What about ASL?

      • LynnA
      • September 25, 2017
      • Reply

      I was wondering the same! ASL is pushing out German, Chinese and Latin in LOTE programs all over the US.

    • Chelsea
    • February 18, 2017
    • Reply

    This is interesting!

      • Geoff
      • February 18, 2017
      • Reply

      To me it is not!

    • Becquer
    • March 25, 2017
    • Reply

    I would like to see all elementary and secondary schools giving language credits to the students so they could study a foreign language at an accredited language school much like non English speakers get in ESL classes. They could go after school or on weekends. This would allow them to learn a wider variety of languages which the local school district cannot offer. The child can begin at a younger age and continue to advance for many years as they do in many other countries which offer 10 or 11 years of a language.

      • Christena
      • October 06, 2017
      • Reply

      That would be really cool. Also to have something besides Spanish as well, That’s about all the schools teach around here.

    • Nicolas
    • April 03, 2017
    • Reply

    Armenian ?? They are a lot in L.A

    • Sydney DeBoer
    • April 10, 2017
    • Reply

    French should be the third most spoken language, as french-creole was not added in this list. The 2011 census bureau study shows 1,301,443 french speakers and another 753,990 under french-creole, totaling just over 2,000,000 speakers.

      • Damien
      • April 11, 2017
      • Reply

      You forget that it says that these numbers come from the locations listed on under the languages, there are only like 4 cities at the most.

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