Beyond English and Spanish: America’s Other Languages

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 21% of Americans age 5 or older speak a language at home other than English. Not surprisingly, Spanish is most common (38 million), but it’s hardly the only second language in this country. Over 11 million speak another Indo-European language, almost 10 million speak an Asian or Pacific Islands language, and nearly three million speak some other tongue.

Let’s see how well you know American languages other than English and Spanish, courtesy of some fascinating maps produced by Ben Blatt of Slate: (answers in the photo gallery below)

1. In seven of fifty states, the language most commonly spoken other than English is something other than Spanish. Which language is most popular in four of those seven states? (Bonus: which states are they?)

2. Which state’s second language is German?

3. Tagalog?

4. If you remove English and Spanish from the mix entirely, German (16) and French/Creole (12) are the most popular in the most states. Which Asian language is the most common (apart from English and Spanish) in four states?

5. What’s the only state to have Russian as its most common language other than English or Spanish?

6. Which Native American language is most common in the most states?


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