Which languages are spoken in the U.S.?


Janaan Lake, Andreas Martinson, Rachel Berghout

The United States has a rich variety of foreign language speakers. Our visualizations explore data taken from the the most recent U.S. Census information about foreign language speakers. The bubbles on the right represent the various languages spoken in the U.S. Each circle size is generally proportional to the total number of speakers of that language. Hover over each circle to see more information about that language. Scroll down to explore more data.

Where are these languages spoken in the U.S.?

English and Spanish are spoken in every single state, but what about the rest of these languages?

Click on the circles at the top to show the distribution of speakers across the United States or select multiple languages by clicking and dragging the brush across the languages you would like to see. Then hover over any bubble on the map to see how that language distribution compares to the other states.

Which states have the most language diversity?

and are the least diverse states, while and have the largest percentage of foreign speakers.

is most commonly found in Puerto Rico and the Southwest while the Northeast has the smallest percentage of Spanish speakers.

languages are most commonly found in New Mexico and Alaska.

Click each bar to sort the states by that language group. Click state names to sort alphabetically.

Which foreign language speakers are the most fluent in English?

and speakers are more fluent in English, while and speakers are least fluent.

See how the many different languages compare.

Click on each bar to drill down to the next level and see more detail. Double click to return.

How have the languages spoken changed over time?

The total number of foreign speakers in the United States has grown dramatically in the last 40 years.

The language has increased as a percentage of all total foreign language speakers in the United States due to the high influx of Mexican and Central American immigrants since the 1980s. The language has also grown, albeit a bit less dramatically.

Explore by clicking on each language to see that language separately. Click again to return to the combined chart.

The End

We hope you learned something about the wide variety of languages spoken in the United States. Our data represents information from 2009-2013 and was taken from the U.S. Census Bureau found here. A video detailing our visualization can be found here.