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Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming…

What do they have in common?

They are all states where Spanish is the second most spoken language, above any other language introduced by foreigners, namely Chinese, French or German, or even native languages such as Hawaiian or Navajo.

Only in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont the second language is another one rather than Spanish.

According to the US Census Bureau, English is the most widely spoken language nationwide (as expected by common sense) despite the fact that the country doesn't actually have an official language.

Although Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the majority of US states, the third most-spoken language varies hugely from place to place, revealing each state's unique cultural history.

Some facts

  •  California has the lowest rates of English use at home, at 56%.
  •  West Virginia has the highest rate, with 97%.
  •  There are over 350 languages spoken across the entire territory.
  •  In Arizona, Navajo is the third most popular language, spoken in 1.3% of households.
  •  In Louisiana, French is still spoken in 2.8% of homes.
  •  German remains a common third language for many states, with +1 million speakers.

Spanish comes second place almost everywhere. With 41 million speakers, the number of Spanish-speakers in the US far exceeds any other language on this list. The highest concentrations of Spanish-speakers can be found in California:

  1. California: 10,407,915
  2. Texas: 7,373,797
  3. Florida: 3,936,129
  4. New York: 2,785,081
  5. Illinois: 1,596,091
  6. New Jersey: 1,335,729

The Spanish predominance is by no means a surprise considering that Hispanic people are the largest minority in the United States. Only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population than the US.

  •  In 2015, the Census Bureau projected that in 2060, Hispanic people will comprise 28.6% of the total population, with 119 million Hispanic individuals residing in the United States.
  •  In 2016, Hispanics made up 11% of the electorate, up from 10% in 2012.
  •  There are an estimated 58.9 million Hispanic people in the United States, comprising 18.1% of the population.
  •  An estimated 41 million US residents, or 13.4% of the population, speak Spanish at home.
  •  An estimated 22.5 million Spanish speakers also speak English "very well," according to the 2017 Census survey. An additional 6.8 reported they speak English "well."

This tremendous language popularity is equivalent to the extremely rich cultural heritage from Latin American people who have established the United States as their home for a very long time. From the vast amount of Cubans arriving to Florida during the 50s-60s-70s to the current wave of families from Central America trying to achieve a better life, there are so many residents from different nations that the country can’t deny the importance of Latino population in all aspects of life, including business and politics.

Mexicans still represent the majority of Latin people in the US, and they have not only inherit piñatas, tacos and guacamole but a great deal of traditions that come from a very ancient culture with plenty beautiful customs.

No doubt, Linguistics is one of the fields that has benefited the most. The mixing of cultures and languages are always a gain!




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