Special Report

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Language in Each State

Source: GracedByTheLight / Getty Images

36. Oklahoma
> Most popular language: Vietnamese
> Residents who speak Vietnamese at home: 18,145
> Vietnamese-speaking population: 0.5%

The most commonly spoken foreign language other than Spanish in Oklahoma is Vietnamese. Oklahoma City has a Vietnamese community, also known as “Little Saigon,” which is home to restaurants, supermarkets and nightlife.

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37. Oregon
> Most popular language: Vietnamese
> Residents who speak Vietnamese at home: 24,724
> Vietnamese-speaking population: 0.6%

Oregon is home to some 25,000 Vietnamese speakers. Vietnamese is the leading foreign language after Spanish, even though only 0.6% of people living in Oregon speak it.

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

38. Pennsylvania
> Most popular language: Chinese
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 67,693
> Chinese-speaking population: 0.5%

Chinese is the most commonly spoken foreign language, after Spanish, in five states in the Northeast and East Coast. Pennsylvania is one such state, where about 68,000 people, or 0.5% of the state’s population, speak the language.

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Source: Thinkstock

39. Rhode Island
> Most popular language: Portuguese
> Residents who speak Portuguese at home: 26,231
> Portuguese-speaking population: 2.5%

Portuguese is the leading foreign language in four states, including Rhode Island. Portuguese came to Rhode Island in the late 19th century, mainly from the Azores and Madeira, and settled in Providence, Bristol, and Pawtucket.

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

40. South Carolina
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 111,764
> German-speaking population: 0.2%

Despite the small share, German is still the most commonly spoken foreign language in the state after Spanish. Germans have been in South Carolina since the late 17th century, and a vibrant community of artisans and tradesmen developed in Charleston in the 18th century.

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