Who doesn’t speak English at home?

20.7% of the population of the United States.

12.9% of the population speaks Spanish at home. In other words, over half of the people who don’t speak English at home speak Spanish at home. 3.7% of the population speaks another Indo-European language; the most common of these are French (0.43%) and German (0.36%).

How many people speak a European language other than Spanish at home? I’ll take ‘European languages’ to include French, Cajun, Italian, Portuguese, German, Luxembourgish, Yiddish, Pennsylvania German, Dutch, Frisian, all Scandinavian, Celtic, and Balto-Slavic languages, Greek, Romanian, Albanian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, and Basque. This comes out to about seven million people, or 2.4%. French and German make up slightly more than two million of that figure, as do the Slavic languages.

0.62% speak an Indic language other than Urdu at home. The most common are Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Punjabi.

0.99% speak Chinese at home, 0.55% Tagalog, 0.48% Vietnamese, and 0.38% Korean. For Asian languages as a whole, the figure is 3.3%.

Native American languages don’t make up a significant part of the statistic: only 0.12% of the population speak one at home, and 45.8% of them speak Navajo.

Almost as many people speak Arabic at home as French, and almost as many people speak an African language at home as Arabic.

8.6% of the population speak English less than “very well”.

Looking only at the part of the population that doesn’t speak English at home: 62.1% speak Spanish, 4.8% speak a Sinitic language (i.e. a “dialect of Chinese”), 2.7% speak Tagalog, 2.3% speak Vietnamese, and 2.1% speak French. These are the most common languages non-English languages spoken at home in the US; the only others with more than a million people are Korean and German. 17.8% speak an Indo-European language other than Spanish, and 11.8% speak a European language. 0.28% speak Navajo and 0.33% speak another Native American language.

Oddly, the Census Bureau considers “Paleo-siberian” (i.e. the Chukotko-Kamchatkan and Yukaghir languages, Ket, Nivkh, and Ainu) to be one language. 530 people speak it at home.


3 responses to “Who doesn’t speak English at home?

  1. Sadmagyar May 9, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    And Magyar (Hungarian) ? Is Honkie Cleveland dead?

  2. Pingback: Who doesn’t speak English at home? | Reaction Times

  3. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2016/05/15) - Social Matter

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