Most Common Languages Spoken In U.S. After English & Spanish

If someone was to ask you what the most common language spoken after English in the U.S. was, I think an overwhelming majority would pick Spanish. Now let’s break it down a bit further. What would you guess the third most popular language would be?

Without looking at any articles, data or maps, my guess would be Chinese.

This isn’t a topic that I was sitting around thinking about on a rainy day. Always on the lookout for interesting things related to travel to pitch in with the blog, Kim sent me an article from Gizmodo.

The topic: The Most Common Language Spoken In The U.S. After English and Spanish

According to the article, the answer to this questions is not so clear-cut and might even be a bit surprising, especially when breaking it down state by state.

Let’s pause just for a moment to discuss what the second most common language spoken in the U.S., state by state is.

If you look at the map above, you will see that Spanish is by far the second most popular language spoken except for in a handful of states like:

  • In 4 states, Louisiana, Maine. New Hampshire & Vermont- French is the second most popular language spoken.
  • In Alaska- Yupik, an Eskimo language takes 2nd place.
  • In Hawaii- Tagalog (or Filipino)
  • In North Dakota- German

Now back to the main topic.

Using data from the American Community Survey conducted by the Census Bureau, Ben Blatt from Slate made maps about languages spoken in each state.

Check out the map below showing the most popular languages spoken other than English or Spanish.

I found it really interesting to see such a high amount of different languages represented on the map. From what I counted, 16 different languages placed in at least one state!

Here are some other things that stood out:

  • The language which was most common after English and Spanish in the most states was German with 16. Next up was French with 11.
  • I was extremely surprised to see Hmong (Minnesota) on the map
  • Even though Chinese is the third most popular language spoken in the U.S., it only came in third in one state. This is due to all of the different dialects spoken.

Find out more in the article from Gizmodo HERE.

4 thoughts on “Most Common Languages Spoken In U.S. After English & Spanish

  1. I saw this last week and I *amused* to say the least. I tell ya though. I am very put off by going to Miami anymore. Last time my family and I went…we couldn’t believe that in some areas, including the airport that finding someone who spoke ENGLISH was not easy. A few of the baggage handlers didn’t speak one word actually when we couldn’t find our bags and they had to find someone wh spoke english. SOrry, I just had to vent there lol.
    I am originally from Philly and LOL’d at the italian. I think Italian is correct but what about the Irish accents. Does that not count as a language heh because there are lots of Irish there too 🙂

    1. Instead of being “put off by going to Miami anymore” how about learning a new language… or at least a few phrases related to baggage (or travel in general if you are ambitious). It’s good for your brain you know…

  2. Great article! I’ve been quizzing my SO for the last 45 minutes on these. Lots of fun – thanks!

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