Special Report

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Language in Each State

Source: benkrut / iStock

16. Kansas
> Most popular language: Vietnamese
> Residents who speak Vietnamese at home: 13,313
> Vietnamese-speaking population: 0.5%

Excluding Spanish, the most commonly spoken foreign language in Kansas is Vietnamese. However, only 0.5% of the population speaks Vietnamese compared with the 7.5% who speak Spanish.

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Source: Thinkstock

17. Kentucky
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 13,220
> German-speaking population: 0.3%

German is the most commonly spoken foreign language in the Bluegrass State, after Spanish, but only 0.3% of the population speak it. Germans are one the oldest immigrant groups to come to Louisville, the state’s largest city, arriving in there more than 200 years ago.

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18. Louisiana
> Most popular language: French
> Residents who speak French at home: 76,815
> French-speaking population: 1.7%

Not surprisingly, French is the most commonly spoken foreign language in Louisiana. Does Mardi Gras ring any bells?

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

19. Maine
> Most popular language: French
> Residents who speak French at home: 35,525
> French-speaking population: 2.7%

Maine, which shares a border with the French-speaking part of Canada, is home to quite a few French speakers — about 2.7% of residents speak the language at home. When removing Spanish from the equation, French is the leading foreign language in six states.

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

20. Maryland
> Most popular language: Chinese
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 53,081
> Chinese-speaking population: 0.9%

Of Maryland’s 5 million residents, some 53,000 speak Chinese — not even a full 1% of the population. Still, Chinese is the leading foreign language behind Spanish — 7.5% of state residents speak Spanish at home.

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