The United States is characterized as a meeting point between cultures and nationalities. Former President Jimmy Carter defined it as a place of “different people, different beliefs, different desires, different hopes, different dreams.” Whether as a meeting point or a mosaic, the wealth of the USA is in its diversity, which becomes evident when we think of the number of languages spoken in American homes. A census conducted in 2015 showed that about 350 languages are spoken in homes across the country.
Now, what are the languages most spoken by the American residents? And if we zoom in on specific parts of the map, how do these languages influence? We present you with a list of the 4 most spoken languages in the USA according to the number of people who speak it at home.
English: 231,122,908 native speakers
The most spoken language in the United States is English, no special document certifies it as an official federal language, a topic that has sparked a heated debate that goes back centuries.
Spanish: 57,458,470 native speakers
The number of Hispanics in the US is significantly lower than those who speak English, however Spanish is one of the fastest growing languages in the country. According to the Pew Research Center, between 1980 and 2013 this increased by 233%. In fact, there are more Spanish speakers in the United States than in Spain, which is why, after Mexico, it is the second country with the highest concentration of Spanish-speaking inhabitants.
Chinese (including Cantonese, Mandarin and other variations): 2,896,766 people
Although the difference in figures between the second and third most spoken languages in the United States is abrupt, the number of people who speak Chinese is still representative. Like a large number of Americans born in the country, many Chinese immigrants came to the US in the 19th century with gold rush in California. Its legacy is perceptible in the great and vibrant communities or Chinese neighborhoods in the big cities. New York houses the largest Chinese population outside of Asia with 12 Chinatowns in its metropolitan area. Thanks to the gold rush, San Francisco is the home of the oldest Chinatown. The vast majority of this population resides in California, followed by New York and Texas.
French and French Creole (including patois and Cajun French): 2,047,467 native speakers
If you include the French Creole of Louisiana, which is a hybrid of French and some African languages, French is the fourth most spoken language in the USA. This is a particularly interesting group of American culture, with roots dating back to the 17th century. France controlled the territory of Louisiana from 1699 and as in any colony, the French brought their language and culture with them. By then, the region was a rich mix of cultures and classes, composed of French and Spanish settlers, Native Americans, slaves and freed slaves.
And then, in what language do you speak?
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