This map shows the most commonly spoken language in every US state, excluding English and Spanish

  • Households in the US speak a lot of different languages.
  • Using individual-level census data, we found the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in each state and Washington, DC.
  • For instance, French is most the commonly spoken language, aside from English and Spanish, in six states and DC.
  • German, Arabic, and Vietnamese are also common in several states.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

One of the ways America shows its diverse culture is in the sheer number of languages spoken by the country’s people. The above map shows which languages other than English and Spanish are the most common in each state and Washington, DC.

The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey annually asks more than 1 million Americans questions about their lives, families, and backgrounds. One question asks respondents what language they mainly speak in their homes.

Using individual-level responses from the 2018 American Community Survey assembled and published by the Minnesota Population Centre’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program, we found the most common language spoken at home in each state, excluding English and Spanish.

English is, unsurprisingly, the most commonly spoken language across the US, and Spanish is the second-most-common in 48 states and the District of Columbia. So, we excluded those two languages in the above map.

The above map shows a wide variety of languages. German, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese are the most commonly spoken non-English, non-Spanish languages in seven states, with French most common in six states and DC. Read on to learn more about the commonly spoken languages in the US along with the estimated number of speakers nationally.


Aleut-Eskimo languages are the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (Alaska).

Michael Dinneen/APAtka Dancers, an Aleut dance group, perform a traditional dance in Anchorage, Alaska.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 26,660

The Aleut-Eskimo language family is spoken by native peoples throughout Alaska, northern Canada, and parts of Greenland.

This group of languages is believed to stem from a single common language 4,000 years ago, but isn’t related to other languages spoken by Native Americans in what is now the US and southern Canada.


Somali is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (Minnesota).

Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesUS Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, pictured with her family.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 178,257

Somalis didn’t start coming to America until the 1920s, from British Somaliland. Their numbers grew after the 1960s, however, when students came to study in American colleges.

Most Somali-Americans arrived in the 1990s, after a civil war broke out. A large Somali community has settled in Minneapolis,Minnesota.


Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, Sioux languages are the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (South Dakota).

Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty ImagesDancers from the Sioux Lakota tribe celebrate during an annual powwow in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 15,322

These languages may be spoken by a collective 15,000 people, but some of them are critically endangered. The Dakota tribe, for example, is made up of 20,000 people, but only has 290 fluent Dakota speakers.


Ilocano is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (Hawaii).

B.J. Reyes/APChildren from the Filipiniana Dance Troupe prepare to perform a welcome dance at the opening of the Filipino Community Centre in Honolulu.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 104,683

Ilocano originally comes from the northern Philippines, but many native speakers emigrated to Hawaii starting in 1906. Today, 85% of the Filipino population in Hawaii is Ilocano.


Muskogean is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (Mississippi).

Elliott Minor/APMarian McCormick, principle chief of the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe, holds a gallberry broom at tribal headquarters near Whigham, Georgia, on Wednesday, May 30, 2001.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 13,902

Muskogean covers six languages that were commonly spoken in the southeastern region of the US. Britannica notes Muskogee was spoken in Alabama and Georgia in the 16th Century, and Choctaw, one of the Muskogean languages, has the most speakers in Mississippi and Oklahoma today.


Hmong is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (Wisconsin).

Darren Hauck/Getty ImagesHmong girls celebrate the lunar new year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 232,588

Hmong people come from southern China and parts of Laos and Vietnam. While Hmong is a relatively common language in Wisconsin, the biggest Hmong population is centered around Minnesota.


Polish is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (Illinois).

Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesPolish-Americans cheer at a soccer match in Chicago, Illinois.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 516,688

Over 10 million Americans have some Polish heritage, but only 500,000 or so speak Polish. Around 185,000 Polish speakers live in Chicago, but many live in the New York metro area as well.


French or Haitian Creole is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (Florida).

Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesHaitian-Americans commemorate the 8th anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that decimated Haiti in Miami, Florida.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 833,184

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: Florida

Haitian Americans (or ayisyen ameriken in Haitian Creole) live mainly in Florida, especially in and around Tampa and Orlando. In the 1960s and ’70s, many Haitians came to the US to escape the oppressive rule of Fran├žois “Papa Doc” Duvalier.


Navajo is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 2 states.

Robert Alexander/Getty ImagesThe Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers dance at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 167,051

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: New Mexico, Arizona

The Navajo Nation, the second-biggest Native American tribe in the US, has the largest reservation in the country, which covers 27,000 square miles. As of the 2010 Census, there are around 300,000 tribe members, making the Navajo fluency rate just above 50%.


Tagalog is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 3 states.

Marvi Lacar/Getty ImagesA Filipino US Army veteran holds up a picture of his son, an Iraq veteran, in San Francisco California.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,764,076

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: California, Nevada, New Jersey

Filipinos started coming to America in large numbers by the turn of the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that both skilled and educated workers came by the thousands. Today, there are over 4 million Filipino Americans.


Portuguese is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 4 states.

Boston Globe/Getty ImagesA crew of rowers from the Portuguese Club celebrate during the Portuguese festival in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 800,467

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah

After the 1960s, Portuguese immigrants started coming to the US in larger numbers. They settled first on the coast of Massachusetts, mainly because Portuguese settlers had chosen the spot for fishing generations before.


French is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 6 states.

Jonathan Bachman/ReutersVisitors throw beads from a balcony on Mardi Gras Day in French Quarter, New Orleans.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,233,625

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: Louisiana, North Carolina, Maryland, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire. It is also commonly spoken in District of Columbia.

Most of us know about New Amsterdam and New England, but New France (or Nouvelle-France) lasted from the early 17th century until around 1803.

That year, President Thomas Jefferson bought up the last of France’s western territory bordering the US from Napoleon Bonaparte, doubling the country overnight in what became known as the Louisiana Purchase.

Before that, however, Louisiana and its biggest city, New Orleans, had a French government, followed French customs, and spoke French. The language evolved over the 17th and 18th centuries from its original form, creating Louisiana French, or Louisiana Creole, a combination of French, English, Spanish, Native American, and African words. To this day, it’s still spoken by around 175,000 people in Louisiana and Texas.


Vietnamese is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 7 states.

Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,531,784

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas

South Vietnamese immigration to the US began right after the Vietnam War ended in 1975, and more Vietnamese people have been arriving ever since. Today, over half of all Vietnamese-Americans live in either California or Texas.


Arabic is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 7 states.

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty ImagesMuslim Americans at a Friday prayer service in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,247,828

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: West Virginia, Virginia, Idaho, Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan

Michigan alone has over 140,000 Arabic speakers. California has over 190,000 speakers. Pew Research Centre noted that Arabic is the fastest-growing language in the US, with the number of speakers growing by 29% from 2010 to 2014. Pew wrote that this growth is in part due to continued immigration and a growing Muslim population in the US.


Chinese is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 7 states.

Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Estimated number of speakers nationally:2,152,710

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: New York, Washington, Wyoming, Delaware, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania

Chinese immigrants have been coming to America in large numbers since the mid-19th century, when the California Gold Rush compelled them to cross the Pacific Ocean. Today, there are over 5 million Chinese Americans across the country.


German is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 7 states.

Education Images/Getty ImagesGerman street vendors in Indiana, ca. 1898.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 862,014

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina

Some of America’s first immigrants (after the British) came from Germany, starting in the 1670s. Today, there are over 49 million Americans with German ancestry, according to the American Community Survey, far more than the current number of German speakers.

Although there were plenty of German immigrants present for the American Revolution, the US never considered adopting German as its official language, contrary to the persistent myth.

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