Special Report

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Language in Each State

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36. Oklahoma
> Most popular language: Vietnamese
> Residents who speak Vietnamese at home: 18,160
> Vietnamese-speaking population: 0.5%

The most commonly spoken foreign language other than Spanish in Oklahoma is Vietnamese. Interestingly enough, the share of the population that has Vietnamese ancestry in Oklahoma is equivalent to the share of state residents who speak the language at home. Both make up 0.5% of Oklahoma’s population.

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37. Oregon
> Most popular language: Vietnamese
> Residents who speak Vietnamese at home: 23,952
> Vietnamese-speaking population: 0.6%

Oregon is home to 23,952 Vietnamese speakers, which slightly exceeds the number of state residents who are of Vietnamese descent at 23,295. Vietnamese is the leading foreign language after Spanish, even though only 0.6% of people living in Oregon speak it.

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38. Pennsylvania
> Most popular language: Chinese
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 61,796
> Chinese-speaking population: 0.5%

Chinese is the most commonly spoken foreign language, after Spanish, in seven states in the Midwest and East Coast. Pennsylvania is one such state, where 61,796 people, or 0.5% of the state’s population, speak the language.

Source: Thinkstock

39. Rhode Island
> Most popular language: Portuguese
> Residents who speak Portuguese at home: 29,082
> Portuguese-speaking population: 2.8%

Portuguese is the leading foreign language in four states, including Rhode Island. The New England state has the largest share of residents with Portuguese ancestry. Just over 7% of the state’s population are of Portuguese descent, considerably more than the 2.8% of state residents who currently speak the language at home.

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40. South Carolina
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 10,309
> German-speaking population: 0.2%

About 7% of state residents in South Carolina have German ancestry, but only 0.2% currently speak the language at home. Despite the small share, German is still the most commonly spoken foreign language in the state after Spanish.