The 10 Most Spoken Languages in the U.S.

What’s the top most spoken languages in the U.S. The one after English? Certainly your guess may have been Spanish. The number of Spanish-speakers in the U.S. has increased by 210 percent since 1980. There are more than 37 million native Spanish speakers, but have you ever wondered what the second-most common language after English and Spanish might be? You may be surprised to hear the answer. Especially when separating them by state. All sorts of ethnic, immigration, and cultural patterns are exposed.

If we remove Spanish from the mix, Chinese is the next most spoken language in American households than any other language. Approximately 2,882,497 people speak Chinese dialect such as Mandarin, Cantonese, and Wu. That is a staggering increase of 290 percent.

The following are the top ten most popular languages in the U.S. according to a 2011 Census Bureau report:

  1. Spanish: 37,579,787 speakers in the U.S., 210 percent increase since 1980 with the highest concentrations in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago.
  2. Chinese: 2,882,497 speakers in the U.S., 290 percent increase with the highest concentrations in New York, Los Angeles and/or San Francisco.
  3. Tagalog: This language from the Philippines is spoken by approximately 1,594,413 people in the U.S., with the highest concentrations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and San Diego.
  4. Vietnamese: 1,419,539 speakers, 510 percent increase since 1980, with the highest concentrations in Los Angeles, San Jose, Houston and Dallas among other cities.
  5. French: 1,301,443 speakers with a 28 percent increase since 1980, mainly concentrated in New York, Washington DC, Boston, and Miami.
  6. German: 1,083,637 speakers, which is actually a 30 percent decrease since 1980 primarily concentrated in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington DC.
  7. Korean: 1,141,277 speakers with the highest concentration in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington DC.
  8. Arabic: 951,699 native Arabic speakers. In 1980 there were only 251,409 Arabic speakers on record.
  9. Russian: 905,843 speakers with a 391 percent increase in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco among other cities.
  10. Italian: 723,632 speakers – half as many as in 1980 mainly concentrated in places like New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia.