While 78% of Americans only speak English, between 350 and 430 languages can be found in the U.S. Spanish is the second most spoken language at 62%.
German immigrants constituted one-third of the population of American colonies in the mid-18th century and played a significant role in early American society. Consequently, over 40 million Americans claim German ancestry and German now stands as the third most prevalent language in thirteen states.
In the Midwest, French stands as the most spoken language (excluding English and Spanish) in four major cities. France played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. Over two centuries later, nearly 9.4 million people in the U.S. claim French or French-Canadian ancestry.
In Chicago, the largest city in the Midwest, Polish is the third-most spoken language. 45% of all U.S. Asians live in the American West, making Asian languages the most spoken in many cities, after English and Spanish.
Tagalog is the most spoken language in nine cities, ranging from Anchorage, Alaska, to Las Vegas. In California and Washington, Chinese is the dominantly spoken language, while Japanese is the third most common in Hawaii.
While numerous languages across America flourish, some face extinction. According to the National Congress of American Indians, over 90% of surviving Native American languages are at risk of extinction by 2050.
Visual Capitalist’s Bruno Venditti and WordFinderX created a graphic based upon Census data to elucidate the most spoken languages (aside from English and Spanish) in American neighborhoods.
Material prepared by Sherman Portfolios, LLC.