The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Languages In Each State

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Oregon
> Most popular language: Chinese (incl. Mandarin, Cantonese)
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 32,665
> Chinese-speaking population in Oregon: 0.84%
> Oregon’s total population: 4,129,803

Oregon is home to some 33,000 Vietnamese speakers. Vietnamese is the leading foreign language after Spanish in the state, even though only 0.84% of people living in Oregon speak it.

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Pennsylvania
> Most popular language: Chinese (incl. Mandarin, Cantonese)
> Residents who speak Chinese at home: 89,253
> Chinese-speaking population in Pennsylvania: 0.74%
> Pennsylvania’s total population: 12,791,530

Chinese is the most commonly spoken foreign language, after Spanish, in six states in the Northeast and East Coast. Pennsylvania is one such state, where about 89,000 people, or 0.74% of the state’s population, speak a Chinese language.

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Rhode Island
> Most popular language: Portuguese
> Residents who speak Portuguese at home: 29,268
> Portuguese-speaking population in Rhode Island: 2.92%
> Rhode Island’s total population: 1,057,231

Portuguese is the leading foreign language in three states, including Rhode Island. Portuguese immigrants came to Rhode Island in the late 19th century, mainly from the Azores and Madeira, and settled in Providence, Bristol, and Pawtucket.

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South Carolina
> Most popular language: German
> Residents who speak German at home: 13,129
> German-speaking population in South Carolina: 0.28%
> South Carolina’s total population: 5,020,806

Despite the small share, German is still the most commonly spoken foreign language in the state after Spanish. Germans have been in South Carolina since the late 17th century, and a vibrant community of artisans and tradesmen developed in Charleston in the 18th century.

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South Dakota
> Most popular language: Other Native languages of North America
> Residents who speak other Native languages of North America at home: 9,970
> Other Native languages-speaking population in South Dakota: 1.23%
> South Dakota’s total population: 870,638

The leading language in South Dakota other than English and Spanish is a Native language. Dakota, along with Lakota, are two native American peoples that speak the Siouan languages of the Great Plains.