The Three Most Spoken Languages in Every U.S. State

Aside from Puerto Rico, California has the lowest rates of English use—56 percent of people speak the language at home.
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The Three Most Spoken Languages in Every U.S. State Newsweek

English is the most widely spoken language in the U.S., but it's easy to forget that the country doesn't actually have an official language.

And although some English-speakers feel threatened by a multilingual nation, specifically a Spanish speaking minority, their fears of losing linguistic dominance seem unfounded.

Although the Latino population in the U.S. continues to rise, the use of Spanish has stayed at steady levels, due to the children of immigrants from Latin American nations embracing English.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, we've broken down the top three most common languages spoken during 2009 to 2013. As it turns out, English still reigns supreme, with the majority of households speaking the language in every single state aside from Puerto Rico.

Although Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the majority of U.S. states, the third most-spoken language varies hugely from place to place, revealing each state's unique cultural history.

In Arizona, Navajo is the third most popular language, spoken in 1.3 percent of households. In Louisiana, French is still spoken in 2.8 percent of homes.

In other states, languages reflect fairly recent cultural shifts. The third most popular language in Wisconsin is Hmong, the language of the indigenous Southeast Asian people who settled in the state after fleeing the communist takeover of Laos and Vietnam in the 1970s.

Aside from Puerto Rico, California has the lowest rates of English use at home, at 56 percent. West Virginia has the highest rate, with over 97 percent of households speaking English at home.

German remains a common third language for many states, with over a million speakers nationwide. After spending hundreds of years as the nation's second language, German dwindled after it was suppressed during World War II, causing a large drop-off in fluent speakers.

Despite the continued dominance of English, the numbers show that America still remains a melting pot. From Polish to Tagalog, these are the three most common languages spoken in every U.S. state.

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Alabama English: 94.7 percent. Spanish: 3.3 percent. German: 0.2 percent. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images