Special Report

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Language in Each State

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46. Virginia
> Most popular language: Arabic
> Residents who speak Arabic at home: 57,014
> Arabic-speaking population: 0.7%

Of the 8.4 million people who call Virginia home, 57,014, or 0.7% of the state’s population, speak Arabic. Still, Arabic is the leading foreign language in Virginia after Spanish.

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47. Washington
> Most popular language: Vietnamese
> Residents who speak Vietnamese at home: 62,279
> Vietnamese-speaking population: 0.9%

Unlike most foreign languages in the U.S., the share of those who speak Vietnamese at home is nearly the same as the share of those who have Vietnamese ancestry — and this is no different in Washington state. Some 0.9% of the state’s population speak Vietnamese at home, and 0.9% have Vietnamese ancestry.

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48. West Virginia
> Most popular language: French
> Residents who speak French at home: 2,949
> French-speaking population: 0.2%

The most commonly spoken foreign language after Spanish in West Virginia is French. While only 2,949 state residents speak the language, roughly 14,450 have French ancestry — nearly five times the share who speak the language at home.

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49. Wisconsin
> Most popular language: Hmong
> Residents who speak Hmong at home: 45,499
> Hmong-speaking population: 0.8%

Hmong is the leading foreign language — behind Spanish — in two states, and Wisconsin is one of them. The other is neighboring Minnesota. The share of of those who speak the language is nearly in line with those who have Hmong ancestry at 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively.

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50. Wyoming
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 3,442
> German-speaking population: 0.6%

Of the 585,501 people who inhabit Wyoming, only 3,442 currently speak German at home. However, 16.5% of state residents have documented German ancestry.

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