By: Dan On: September 13, 2016 In: Languages Comments: 30
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Today, more than 350 languages are spoken in the US and the number of people in the US who speak a language other than English continues to increase. 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 the 2016 American Community Survey, a project of the United States Census Bureau, the following are the most popular non-English languages spoken in the United States.

10) Haitian Creole

Representing .86 million speakers in the US, Haitian Creole can be heard cities including New York, Boston, and Miami, among others. It is a French-based creole that blends 18th century French with influences from Portuguese, Spanish, English, Taíno, and West African languages.

9) German

Found primarily in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, German-speakers number .91 million.

8) Russian

The .91 million Russian-speakers in the US can be found in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, among other cities.

7) Korean

Speakers of Korean, located mainly in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and Chicago, have seen large growth over the last thirty years — they now number 1.1 million in the US.

6) French

You can find the 1.2 million people that comprise the US French-speaking population primarily in New York, Washington DC, Boston, and Miami.

5) Arabic

The Arabic-speaking population in the US is larger than most people likely realize — especially in Dearborn, Michigan. As of 2016 a total of 1.2 million Arabic-speakers live in US.

4) Vietnamese

There are 1.5 million speakers of Vietnamese found in Los Angeles, San Jose, Houston, and Dallas, among other cities.

3) Tagalog

This language from the Philippines boasts 1.7 million speakers in the US – slightly more than tripling its numbers in the last three decades. Speakers of Tagalog are concentrated mainly in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and San Diego.

2) Chinese

3.4 million people speak a Chinese dialect such as Mandarin or Cantonese in the US. You’re most likely to find Chinese dialect-speakers in New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.

1) Spanish

With 40.5 million speakers, the number of Spanish-speakers in the US far exceeds any other language on this list. The highest concentrations of Spanish-speakers can be found in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Chicago.

Were you surprised by any of the languages on this list? Let us know in the comments!

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elijah
elijah
4 years ago

lovin it

noah
noah
3 years ago

where is English?

Eli
Eli
2 years ago
Reply to  noah

*other than English*

Koivu
Koivu
2 years ago
Reply to  noah

America’s main language is english. Im pretty sure these are the most common second languages or languages other than english

Chanelle
Chanelle
3 years ago
Reply to  noah

Exactly!!!

Waleed MB
Waleed MB
3 years ago
Reply to  noah

All these are after English

Chelsea
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  noah

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

Chanelle
Chanelle
3 years ago
Reply to  Chelsea

OOOOOOOOHHHHHH! That makes a lot more sense.

crystal THE AWESOME
crystal THE AWESOME
3 years ago

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

Arianna
Arianna
3 years ago

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.

Rice
Rice
2 years ago
Reply to  Arianna

Mandarin not that hard to learn.

Rosalina792
Rosalina792
3 years ago

Cool

koko
koko
3 years ago

Very nice post

Rosalina792
Rosalina792
3 years ago

Where’s english?

Chelsea
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Rosalina792

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
Geoff
3 years ago

What? No Native American languages???

Arianna
Arianna
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff

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
Gerald
3 years ago

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

Harley
Harley
3 years ago

What about ASL?

LynnA
LynnA
3 years ago
Reply to  Harley

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

Chelsea
Chelsea
3 years ago

This is interesting!

Geoff
Geoff
3 years ago
Reply to  Chelsea

To me it is not!

Becquer
Becquer
3 years ago

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
Christena
3 years ago
Reply to  Becquer

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

Nicolas
Nicolas
3 years ago

Armenian ?? They are a lot in L.A

Sydney DeBoer
Sydney DeBoer
3 years ago

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
Damien
3 years ago
Reply to  Sydney DeBoer

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.

brittney
brittney
2 years ago

they are not speaking about america only, they are speaking about the world, there are many Spanish speaking continents in the world, many Americans speak Spanish as well as English too, so makes sense Chinese was even being taught in my daughters school from k-5th

Theresa R. Hodge
Theresa R. Hodge
2 years ago

curious where Urdu is on a longer list ? I speak English since it is my first language, German (2 years), Spanish (1 year), can at least count in Japanese, need to refresh counting in French, Arabic, Greek. I was trying to learn Arabic, but was corrected that the book I was studying from was not the correct dialect which is the same issue I came across trying to study and decide upon which of the four different forms of Spanish I encountered. It is rather maddening. My grandmother also corrected us while learning German in school also stating they were teaching us the wrong dialect…lower German. What fun wondering where language is going. I so at times want a simplified imoji or texting…since more people can recognize a simple image when unable to identify and alpha character in other languages. My siste gets angry that I so want to simplify communications as much as possible. I also can perform sign language though only fast in alpha and not gesturing as I call it.

Vinci V. Lipton
Vinci V. Lipton
1 year ago

im glad that were not the only language that are here in america.