The Most Spoken Language in Every U.S. State (Besides English and Spanish)
While 78% of Americans speak only English at home, between 350 and 430 languages can be found in the United States.
Spanish is the second most common language, spoken in 62% of non-English-speaking households.
In this graphic, WordFinderX used Census data to uncover the most spoken languages (aside from English and Spanish) in American neighborhoods.
German is the Most Spoken Language in 13 States
During the mid-18th century, German immigrants played a significant role in early American society. They constituted one-third of the population of American colonies, ranking second in numbers only to the English.
As a consequence, German now stands as the third most prevalent language in 13 states, with over 40 million Americans claiming German ancestry.
|State||Most Spoken Language (Besides English and Spanish)|
|District of Columbia||French|
|South Dakota||Dakota languages|
From military aid to ideological support, France played a pivotal role in the success of the American Revolution. More than two centuries later, approximately 9.4 million people in the U.S. claim French or French-Canadian ancestry.
In the Midwest, French stands as the most spoken language (following English and Spanish) in four major cities.
In the Midwest’s largest city, Chicago, Polish is the third-most common spoken language.
Asian Languages in the American West
The American West is home to 45% of all U.S. Asians, making Asian languages the most spoken in many cities, following English and Spanish.
Tagalog is the most spoken language in nine cities, ranging from Anchorage, Alaska, where half of the local Asian community is Filipino, to Las Vegas, Nevada, home to one of the largest Filipino-American communities in the country.
Chinese dominates in California and Washington, while Japanese ranks as the third most common language in Hawaii.
The Most Spoken Languages in New York
In the late 1800s, people worldwide chose to emigrate to the United States, leaving their homes due to crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine. Many also saw the U.S. as a land of economic opportunity.
More than 70% of all immigrants entered through New York City, which came to be known as the “Golden Door.”
As a result, the city today has an eclectic mix of languages.
While numerous languages across America thrive, some face imminent extinction. These include rare regional dialects, like the Pawpaw French in Minnesota, and indigenous languages.
According to the National Congress of American Indians, all surviving Native American languages are severely endangered, with over 90% of them at risk of extinction by 2050.
Various initiatives, including leveraging technology, have been proposed to ensure the preservation of the diverse cultures and languages in the U.S.
This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.
How Much Do Americans Trust the Media?
Media trust among Americans has reached its lowest point since Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
How Much Do Americans Trust the Media?
Media trust among Americans has reached its lowest point in six years.
Gallup began its survey on media trust in 1972, repeating it in 1974 and 1976. After a long period, the public opinion firm restarted the polls in 1997 and has asked Americans about their confidence level in the mass media—newspapers, TV, and radio—almost every year since then.
The above graphic illustrates Gallup’s latest poll results, conducted in September 2023.
Americans’ Trust in Mass Media, 1972-2023
Americans’ confidence in the mass media has sharply declined over the last few decades.
|Trust in the mass media||% Great deal/Fair amount||% Not very much||% None at all|
In 2016, the number of respondents trusting media outlets fell below the tally of those who didn’t trust the media at all. This is the first time that has happened in the poll’s history.
That year was marked by sharp criticism of the media from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In 2017, the use of the term ‘fake news’ rose by 365% on social media, and the term was named the word of the year by dictionary publisher Collins.
The Lack of Faith in Institutions and Social Media
Although there’s no single reason to explain the decline of trust in the traditional media, some studies point to potential drivers.
According to Michael Schudson, a sociologist and historian of the news media and a professor at the Columbia Journalism School, in the 1970s, faith in institutions like the White House or Congress began to decline, consequently impacting confidence in the media.
“That may have been a necessary corrective to a sense of complacency that had been creeping in—among the public and the news media—that allowed perhaps too much trust: we accepted President Eisenhower’s lies about the U-2 spy plane, President Kennedy’s lies about the ‘missile gap,’ President Johnson’s lies about the war in Vietnam, President Nixon’s lies about Watergate,”
Michael Schudson – Columbia Journalism School
More recently, the internet and social media have significantly changed how people consume media. The rise of platforms such as X/Twitter and Facebook have also disrupted the traditional media status quo.
Partisans’ Trust in Mass Media
Historically, Democrats have expressed more confidence in the media than Republicans.
Democrats’ trust, however, has fallen 12 points over the past year to 58%, compared with 11% among Republicans and 29% among independents.
According to Gallup, Republicans’ low confidence in the media has little room to worsen, but Democrat confidence could still deteriorate and bring the overall national reading down further.
The poll also shows that young Democrats have less confidence in the media than older Democrats, while Republicans are less varied in their views by age group.
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