The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Languages In Each State

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Hawaii
> Most popular language: Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or other Austronesian languages
> Residents who speak Austronesian languages at home: 130,506
> Austronesian languages-speaking population in Hawaii: 9.79%
> Hawaii’s total population: 1,422,094

Ilocano is the third-largest language spoken in the Philippines, with an estimated 7 million people there speaking it as a first language. Only about 466,000 people in the U.S. speak the languages, with 130,000 living in Hawaii.

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Idaho
> Most popular language: Chinese (incl. Mandarin, Cantonese)
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 4,921
> Chinese-speaking population in Idaho: 0.31%
> Idaho’s total population: 1,717,750

Though a very small share of people in Idaho speak Chinese at home, it’s still the most commonly spoken language in the state, after Spanish. About 0.31% of residents speak a Chinese language, compared to 8.1% who speak Spanish.

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Illinois
> Most popular language: Polish
> Residents who speak Polish at home: 173,168
> Polish-speaking population in Illinois: 1.44%
> Illinois’s total population: 12,770,631

Illinois has both the largest number of residents who speak Polish and who have Polish ancestry. There are over 173,000 people who speak Polish in the state, the most of any state. Chicago has an especially heavy concentration of people whose ancestors migrated to the city from Poland over a century ago.

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Indiana
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 31,812
> German-speaking population in Indiana: 0.51%
> Indiana’s total population: 6,665,703

Indiana is one of four states where German is the most commonly spoken foreign language, after Spanish. Germans have been in Indiana since the early 19th century. At 31,812, Indiana has the most German speakers of any state. Many of them are Amish communities that speak a German dialect.

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Iowa
> Most popular language: Chinese (incl. Mandarin, Cantonese)
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 12,259
> Chinese-speaking population in Iowa: 0.42%
> Iowa’s total population: 3,139,508

Despite Chinese, in its numerous forms, being the most commonly spoken foreign language in Iowa, after Spanish, only 0.42% of the Midwest state’s population currently speak the language at home.