The Most Commonly Spoken Languages in Every State — Other Than English and Spanish

Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, and Vietnamese are the next most commonly spoken languages in the country.

English and Spanish are no doubt the most commonly spoken languages in the United States, but in a country so diverse, many more of the approximately 7,000 global languages are just as much a part of Americans' daily lives. In a recent study, Visual Capitalist took a look at the next most widely spoken language in each state.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey of more than a million Americans, the study revealed that the next most popularly spoken languages are the Chinese dialects of Mandarin and Cantonese. Nearly 3.5 million (or 5.2% of the foreign language speakers) use them. It's the most dominant language in 17 states, including California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

Visual Capitalist map of U.S. showing popular languages in each state
Courtesy of Visual Capitalist

Asian languages continue to take the top three spots, with 1.8 million speaking the Filipino dialect of Tagalog (the next most common in Nevada). Meanwhile, Vietnamese, with 1.6 million speakers, is the next most widely spoken language in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, and Georgia.

In fourth place is Arabic, with 1.3 million speakers. Most popular in Michigan and Tennessee, it's also noted as one of the fastest-growing languages in the nation in another study by Pew Research Center. The fifth spot goes to French and Louisiana French, with 1.2 million speakers (the next most dominant language in Louisiana, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire).

A quirky little café with lots of customers and a variety of plants spread out on the wall.
Tom Werner/Getty Images

The top 10 list is rounded out by Korean (1.1 million speakers), Russian (about 941,000 speakers), Haitian Creole (about 925,000 speakers), and German (about 895,000 speakers). Spanish, which was excluded from this list because of the dominant percentage (61.6%) of foreign speakers using the language, has 41.7 million speakers in the country.

Despite those being the top 10, some states have other languages as the most common after English and Spanish, such as Navajo in Arizona and New Mexico, Polish in Illinois, Hmong in Michigan, and Eskimo-Aleut in Alaska.

The study also noted that about 78% of Americans (or about 241 million) speak only English at home, while the other 22% (or 67.8 million) of those ages five or older use another language.

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