One of the most remarkable aspects of the United States is its diversity, as a myriad of different cultures and ethnicities mix together every day. Still, the cultural mix is different in each state — and inevitably so are the most spoken languages.
While English and Spanish dominate the charts in nearly every state, several other languages follow not too far behind. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, close to 40 million U.S. residents speak Spanish at home, followed by 2.1 million Chinese speakers. Tagalog, Vietnamese, French, Arabic, and Korean are each spoken by over a million people nationwide.
> Most popular language: Polish
> Residents who speak Polish at home: 176,240
> Polish-speaking population: 1.4%
The most commonly spoken foreign language in Illinois is Polish. The number of people in Illinois who speak Polish is far lower than the number people with Polish ancestry. There are 176,240 Illinois residents who speak Polish at home, versus 654,339 residents with Polish ancestry.
Looking at the state level, German is the most commonly spoken language among the 50 states after English and Spanish. Just how popular is the German language? In 11 states, German is the most popular foreign language, making it the most frequently occurring foreign language on this list.
Vietnamese clocks in as the second most common top foreign language in states, with the population in a total of seven states speaking it most frequently. Chinese follows closely behind with the population of six states speaking it the most — after English and Spanish.
Read on to see which other languages are most commonly spoken in your state — you may even know someone who speaks it or speak it yourself.