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

  • Americans speak a lot of 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, D.C.
  • German, French, and Vietnamese are common in several states.
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Americans speak a ton of languages, and this map shows which languages other than English and Spanish are the most common in each state and Washington, D.C.

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 2017 American Community Survey assembled and published by the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program, we found the most common language spoken at home in each state, excluding English and Spanish.

Read more: The most common ancestry in every US state

English is, unsurprisingly, the most commonly spoken language across the US, and Spanish is second most common in 46 states and the District of Columbia. So we excluded those two languages in the above map.

The map shows a wide variety of languages. German is the most commonly spoken non-English, non-Spanish language in nine states, with French most common in six states and D.C. Vietnamese was the most common language in six states. Pennsylvania stands out for the prevalence of an archaic offshoot of West Central German known as Pennsylvania Dutch, spoken predominantly by Amish and Mennonite communities.


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

Wikimedia CommonsAn Alutiiq dancer in traditional clothing during a cultural event.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:23,665

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.


18. 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:160,940

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 majority has settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


17. 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: 17,023

These languages may be spoken by a collective 17,000 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.


16. Gujarati is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 1 state (New Jersey).

Wikimedia CommonsLittle India in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Estimated number of speakers nationally: 419,964

Gujarati is the most common Indian language in New Jersey. Its speakers originally came from the western Indian state of Gujarat. In India, there are around 55 million native Gujarati speakers.


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

Wikimedia CommonsIlocano women in the Philippines, ca. 1900.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:92,955

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.


14. 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:232,161

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.


13. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish 1 state (Nebraska).

The Washington Post/Getty ImagesNepalese students at Howard University, Washington, DC.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:202,218

Although many Nepalese people have settled in Nebraska relative to other immigrant communities, the actual number is unclear. The biggest single Nepalese group is in New York City, with 9,000 people.


12. Pennsylvania Dutch is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish 1 state (Pennsylvania).

Chris Hondros/Getty ImagesAn Amish boy feeds cows in Wakefield, Pennsylvania.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:179,336

This language is spoken by the Amish people of Pennsylvania, specifically Lancaster County. The Amish shun most technologies if they were developed after the 19th century, and while they speak English, they also use Pennsylvania Dutch, which isn’t Dutch at all. It’s an offshoot of German.


11. 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:512,332

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.


10. Tagalog is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 2 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:1,753,712

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

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.


9. French or Haitian Creole is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 2 states.

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

Estimated number of speakers nationally:900,596

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

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.


8. 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:166,856

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. There are currently 300,460 tribe members, making the Navajo fluency rate just above 50%.


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

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

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,229,949

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

Michigan alone has 100,000 Arabic speakers, second to California, which has over 150,000.


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

The Washington Post/Getty ImagesKorean-Americans watch the 2012 Olympics in Arlington, Virginia.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,104,145

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: Virginia, Alabama, Georgia

Korean-Americans are the fifth-largest Asian immigrant group in the US. 99% of Korean-Americans originally hail from South Korea.


5. Portuguese is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 3 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:763,340

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

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.


4. Chinese is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 5 states.

Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Estimated number of speakers nationally:2,155,939

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: New York, Washington, Arkansas, Missouri, Utah

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.


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

Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,527,371

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

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.


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

Tim Graham/Getty ImagesA restaurant in New Orleans’s French Quarter.

Estimated number of speakers nationally:1,184,736

States where it’s the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish: Louisiana, North Carolina, Maryland, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire

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.


1. German is the most commonly spoken language at home other than English and Spanish in 9 states.

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

Estimated number of speakers nationally:905,326

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

Some of America’s first immigrants (after the British) came from Germany, starting in the 1670s. Today, there are 49,840,035 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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