Special Report

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Languages in Each State

Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. Alabama
> Most popular language: Vietnamese
> Residents who speak Vietnamese at home: 7,573
> Vietnamese-speaking population: 0.2%

Alabama is the sweet home to several Vietnamese speakers. According to the 2015 ACS conducted by the Census, 7,514 residents have Vietnamese ancestry. This means that 34 people who don’t share the ancestry also speak Vietnamese at home. Despite Vietnamese being the most popular foreign language spoken in Alabama, only 0.2% of the population speak it.

Source: Thinkstock

2. Alaska
> Most popular language: Aleut-Eskimo Languages
> Residents who speak Aleut-Eskimo Languages at home: 25,718
> Aleut-Eskimo Languages-speaking population: 3.5%

Alaska is the only state that has Eskimo-Aleut languages as its most commonly spoken language after English and Spanish. The Eskimo and Aleut are indigenous peoples native to some of the most northern parts of the globe. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Aleut is a single language with two surviving dialects. Eskimo consists of two divisions: Yupik, spoken in Siberia and southwestern Alaska, and Inuit, spoken in northern Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.”

Source: Thinkstock

3. Arizona
> Most popular language: Navajo
> Residents who speak Navajo at home: 82,109
> Navajo-speaking population: 1.2%

Arizona, along with New Mexico and Utah, are home to The Navajo Nation. The largest Native American land area in the United States is the Navajo Nation Reservation, which comprises 16 million acres across those three states. In Arizona, 213,576 people have American Indian ancestry, and more than 82,000 speak Navajo at home.

Source: Thinkstock

4. Arkansas
> Most popular language: Chinese
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 5,578
> Chinese-speaking population: 0.2%

The third most popular foreign language in the United States, Chinese is the most commonly spoken foreign language in Arkansas. A total of 9,681 people in the state have Chinese ancestry. Although Chinese is the most popular foreign spoken language in Arkansas, only 0.2% of the population speak it.

Source: nickchapman / Wikimedia Commons

5. California
> Most popular language: Tagalog
> Residents who speak Tagalog at home: 832,024
> Tagalog-speaking population: 2.1%

A whopping 2.1% of people in California speak Tagalog, a language common in the Philippines. It’s interesting that Tagalog — the base for the Filipino language — is spoken more commonly in California than Filipino, which is the official language in The Philippines.

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