U.S. Census Bureau
Table 5. Language Spoken at Home for the Foreign-Born Population 5 Years and Over: 1980 and 1990
  Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census
Internet Release date: March 9, 1999

(See text for sources, definitions, and explanations)

Language 1990* 1980*
Total 19,506,238 13,859,059
English only 4,075,804 4,129,722
Non-English languages 15,430,434 9,729,337
     Language data available 15,428,619 9,639,071
         Indo-European languages 11,196,120 7,502,923
            English-based pidgin creoles 13,111 4,398
                Jamaican Creole 12,124 3,237
            Germanic languages 690,339 878,236
                German 529,678 627,998
                Yiddish 72,779 157,252
                Dutch 82,558 90,353
            Scandinavian languages 80,700 103,615
                Swedish 33,224 42,580
                Danish 20,334 23,113
                Norwegian 23,726 34,903
            Romance languages 8,713,899 5,235,425
                Italian 493,439 705,407
                French (including creoles) 534,192 376,060
                    French (excluding creoles) 387,915 359,870
                    French Creole (Haitian) 140,433 14,519
                Spanish (including creoles) 7,350,512 3,896,505
                    Spanish (excluding creoles) 7,346,270 3,896,060
                Portuguese (including creoles) 281,635 232,794
                    Portuguese (excluding creoles) 281,034 232,467
                Romanian 53,493 24,058
            Celtic languages 17,747 14,260
                Irish Gaelic 15,233 11,661
            Greek 181,965 215,700
            Albanian 13,608 9,671
            Slavic languages 663,450 626,668
                Russian 186,514 127,605
                Ukranian 50,725 70,117
                Czech 27,739 35,147
                Polish 286,896 260,341
                Slovak 16,459 24,159
                Serbo-Croatian 80,222 91,811
            Baltic languages 39,903 57,689
                Lithuanian 20,758 32,535
                Lettish 19,145 25,154
            Armenian 115,017 69,995
            Iranian languages 186,913 97,590
                Persian 178,354 94,395
            Indic languages 479,468 189,676
                Hindi 287,067 115,774
                Bengali 33,814 11,516
                Panjabi 43,184 16,820
                Marathi 12,580 5,426
                Gujarati 87,539 32,065
         Asian and Pacific Island languages 3,637,263 1,718,934
            Turkic languages 32,564 22,651
                Turkish 32,024 21,827
            Dravidian languages 82,990 34,458
                Telugu 19,052 8,572
                Malayalam 31,143 10,345
                Tamil 24,575 9,691
            Chinese 1,088,296 494,855
            Thai (Laotian) 173,226 73,542
            Miao (Hmong) 62,699 14,638
            Japanese 245,294 171,715
            Korean 530,860 237,516
            Mon-Khmer (Cambodian) 113,910 15,089
            Vietnamese 434,731 182,890
            Indonesian languages 33,009 12,498
                Indonesian 22,102 9,457
                Malay 10,245 2,662
            Philippine languages 793,365 428,470
                Tagalog 746,443 402,968
                Ilocano 35,098 21,233
            Micronesian languages 3,057 2,384
            Polynesian languages 21,430 18,876
                Samoan 11,309 12,234
            Melanesian languages 2,002 1,222
            Asian and Pacific Island languages n.e.c. 19,830 8,130
         Other languages 595,236 417,214
            Uralic languages 108,289 135,318
                Finnish 14,324 19,437
                Hungarian 87,024 105,298
            Caucasian (Georgian) 710 521
            Basque 1,327 1,783
            Semitic languages 382,997 230,184
                Arabic 251,409 164,953
                Hebrew 74,985 49,044
                Syriac 27,494 5,844
                Amharic 29,109 10,343
            Afro-Asiatic languages 4,373 2,257
            Nilo-Saharan languages 630 478
            Niger-Congo languages 80,676 33,886
                Kru (Kwa) 58,172 22,454
            African languages n.e.c. 5,608 3,323
            Native American languages 10,626 9,464
     Language data not available 1/ 1,815 90,266

* Indicates sample data.
n.e.c. Not elsewhere classified.
1/ For 1980, includes 11,136 cases of "Indian" with no other information provided to classify the language as Indic or Native American.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Authors: Campbell Gibson and Emily Lennon
Questions? / 1-866-758-1060
Last Revised: October 31, 2011 at 10:03:05 PM