Special Report

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Languages in Each State

Cheyenne Buckingham

Source: Thinkstock

26. Montana
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 9,132
> German-speaking population: 0.9%

Another one of the 11 states claiming German as the most popular spoken foreign language is Montana. Nearly 195,000 people have ancestors from Germany. To put this into perspective, that’s 18.8% of the state’s population. Despite this, not even 1% of Montana residents speak the language.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska
> Most popular language: Arabic
> Residents who speak Arabic at home: 7,390
> Arabic-speaking population: 0.4%

According to the Arab American Institute, “Arab immigrants began coming to the U.S. in sizable numbers during the 1880’s,” and as many as 3.7 million Americans can trace their roots to an Arab country. In Nebraska alone, more than 17,000 people can trace their ancestry to one of the Arabic-speaking nations and regions tracked by the Census.

Source: Thinkstock

28. Nevada
> Most popular language: Tagalog
> Residents who speak Tagalog at home: 74,337
> Tagalog-speaking population: 2.6%

Nevada is one of the three states with Tagalog as the most popular spoken foreign language. Approximately 4% of the population has Filipino ancestors, which is where the language originated.

Source: AlexiusHoratius / Wikimedia Commons

29. New Hampshire
> Most popular language: French
> Residents who speak French at home: 19,515
> French-speaking population: 1.5%

Nearly 10% of New Hampshire’s population consists of people with French ancestry. Like many New England states, New Hampshire shares a border with Quebec, Canada’s French-speaking province.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

30. New Jersey
> Most popular language: Chinese
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 86,700
> Chinese-speaking population: 1.0%

Out of the near 9 million people who live in New Jersey, 129,548 have Chinese ancestry. This accounts for 1.4% of the state’s population. And most speak the language as well.