Top 10 Foreign Languages Spoken in the United States

We hear many foreign languages every day. The United States draws persons from many countries around the world, many of whom speak foreign languages. The diversity of languages in the United States may be surprising to most, as a 2015 Census Bureau Reported at Least 350 Languages Spoken in U.S. Homes.

In 2013, there were approximately 25.1 million individuals considered Limited English Proficient who spoke a language other than English at home. The Limited English Proficient, or LEP, population represented 8% of the total U.S. population over the age of 5. Some U.S. cities, like New York, Miami and Los Angeles have higher immigrant and LEP populations:

A 2011 U.S. Census Bureau report identified these 10 foreign languages as the most popular in the United States.

 

Top 10 Foreign Languages Spoken in the United States

 

 

10) Italian
Italian Speakers in the United States: 723,632 (Represents a nearly 50% decline from 1980.) Popular United States Locations: New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia
 
9) Russian
Russian Speakers in the United States: 905,843 (Represents 391% increase from 1980.)
Popular United States Locations: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco
 
8) Arabic
Arabic Speakers in the United States: 951,699 (Represents approximately 3.5x increase from 1980.)
Popular United States Locations: Michigan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C.
 
7) Korean
Korean Speakers in the United States: 1,141,277 (Represents approximately 4x increase from 1980.)
Popular United States Locations: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C.
 
6) German
German Speakers in the United States: 1,083,637 (Represents 30% decrease from 1980.)
Popular United States Locations: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC
 
5) French
French Speakers in the United States: 1,301,443 (Represents 28% increase from 1980.)
Popular United States Locations: New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Boston
 
4) Vietnamese
Vietnamese Speakers in the United States: 1,419,539 (510% increase from 1980.)
Popular United States Locations: Los Angeles, San Jose, Dallas, Houston
 
3) Tagalog
Tagalog Speakers in the United States:1,594,413 (Represents 3x increase from 1980.)
Popular United States Locations: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Diego
 
2) Chinese
Chinese Speakers in the United States: 2,882,497 (Represents 290% increase from 1980.) Popular United States Locations: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco
 
1) Spanish
Spanish Speakers in the United States: 37,579,787 (Represents 210% increase from 1980.) Popular United States Locations: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami
 
With the diversity of foreign languages in the United States growing and rising LEP populations, interpreters and translators are extremely important. From medical interpreting to legal interpreting, business to everyday situations, an interpreter’s job helps to achieve effective communication and understanding.

Telelanguage has provided quality interpretation services since 1991 in 250 languages. Have questions about interpreter services? Contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

 

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