Special Report

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Language in Each State

Source: maximkabb / Getty Images

11. Hawaii
> Most popular language: Ilocano
> Residents who speak Ilocano at home: 61,652
> Ilocano-speaking population: 4.3%

Ilocano is the third-largest language spoken in the Philippines, with an estimated 7 million people there speaking it as a first language. Only about 105,000 people in the U.S. speak the language, with more than half living in Hawaii.

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12. Idaho
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 3,767
> German-speaking population: 0.2%

Idaho is one of 12 states where German is the most commonly spoken foreign language, after Spanish.

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Source: Thinkstock

13. Illinois
> Most popular language: Polish
> Residents who speak Polish at home: 183,656
> Polish-speaking population: 1.4%

Illinois has both the largest number of residents who speak Polish and have Polish ancestry. There are nearly 184,000 people who speak Polish in the state, the most of any state. Chicago has an especially heavy concentration of Polish people who migrated to the city over a century ago.

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14. Indiana
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 31,831
> German-speaking population: 0.5%

Indiana is one of 12 states where German is the most commonly spoken foreign language, after Spanish. Germans have been in Indiana since the early 19th century. At 31,831, Indiana has the second-most German speakers of any state. Many of them are Amish communities that speak a German dialect.

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15. Iowa
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 11,946
> German-speaking population: 0.4%

Despite it being the most commonly spoken foreign language, after Spanish, only 0.4% of the Midwest state’s population currently speaks the language at home.

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