What’s the most common language in your home state?

In most U.S. states, it’s safe to assume the most commonly spoken language after English is Spanish. But what about the most common languages after English and Spanish?

Slate’s Ben Blatt dug through the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to find the most commonly spoken languages in the U.S. The second-most common language after English was Spanish in all but seven states:

  • Alaska (Yupik)
  • Hawaii (Tagalog)
  • Louisiana (French)
  • Maine (French)
  • New Hampshire (French)
  • North Dakota (German)
  • Vermont (French)

What about when we take Spanish out of the mix? The results are much more varied. In Nevada, the most common language becomes Tagalog, which also dominates in California and, of course, Hawaii. Much of the Mountain West and Midwest switches to German and most of the Eastern seaboard goes French. A couple Native American languages appear, too: Navajo in Arizona and New Mexico, and Dakota in South Dakota.

When the map is limited to Native American languages, the most common ones are pretty varied in the North, but Navajo takes every Southwest state. Most of the Southeast goes to Cherokee.

Blatt also mapped Scandinavian, Indo-Aryan, and African languages. Check out all the maps here.

Contact Stephanie Grimes at sgrimes@reviewjournal.com. Find her on Twitter: @stephgrimes


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