U.S. Census Bureau
Table 6. Mother Tongue of the Foreign-Born Population: 1910 to 1940, 1960, and 1970
  Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census
Internet Release date: March 9, 1999

(See text for sources, definitions, and explanations)

Language All races White
1970* 1960* 1970* 1960* 1940* 1930 1920 1910
           Total 9,619,302 9,738,155 8,733,770 9,294,045 11,109,620 13,983,405 13,712,754 13,345,545
Mother tongue data available 9,523,155 9,360,179 8,651,756 8,962,711 10,861,120 13,941,172 13,705,588 13,229,273
     Indo-European languages 8,452,466 8,685,423 7,991,298 8,415,894 10,408,000 13,481,337 13,216,190 12,841,870
        English and Celtic 1/ 1,743,284 1,979,949 1,577,719 1,889,228 2,506,420 3,097,021 3,007,932 3,363,792
            English 1,697,825 1,937,184 1,532,260 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
            Celtic 1/ 45,459 42,765 45,459 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Germanic languages 1,788,286 1,996,740 1,757,567 1,961,835 2,648,080 3,586,069 3,541,184 3,962,624
            German 1,201,535 1,332,399 1,197,205 1,329,660 1,589,040 2,188,006 2,267,128 2,759,032
            Yiddish 2/ 438,116 503,605 437,083 503,062 924,440 1,222,658 1,091,820 1,051,767
            Dutch 127,834 130,482 123,279 129,113 102,700 133,142 136,540 126,045
            Flemish 20,801 30,254 (NA) (NA) 31,900 42,263 45,696 25,780
        Scandinavian languages 283,991 466,515 283,260 463,361 778,200 1,142,645 1,194,933 1,272,150
            Swedish 131,408 225,607 131,087 225,421 423,200 615,465 643,203 683,218
            Danish 58,218 85,421 58,007 85,338 122,180 178,944 187,162 183,844
            Norwegian 94,365 152,687 94,166 152,602 232,820 345,522 362,199 402,587
        Romance languages 3,301,184 2,551,982 3,166,837 2,521,725 2,475,880 3,242,033 2,816,296 2,267,009
            Italian 1,025,994 1,277,585 1,023,217 1,276,338 1,561,100 1,808,289 1,624,998 1,365,110
            French 410,580 330,220 377,752 325,588 359,520 523,297 466,956 528,842
            Spanish 3/ 1,696,240 813,429 1,602,322 793,134 428,360 743,286 556,111 258,131
            Portuguese 140,299 91,592 137,618 88,680 83,780 110,197 105,895 72,649
            Romanian 26,055 38,019 25,928 37,985 43,120 56,964 62,336 42,277
        Greek 193,745 180,781 192,415 180,458 165,220 189,066 174,658 118,379
        Albanian 7,528 7,297 (NA) (NA) (NA) 7,586 5,515 2,312
        Slavic languages 921,330 1,301,520 918,652 1,300,342 1,671,540 1,992,533 2,255,798 1,690,703
            Russian 4/ 149,277 276,834 148,644 276,362 356,940 315,721 392,049 57,926
            Ukranian 96,635 106,974 96,294 106,864 35,540 68,485 55,672 25,131
            Czech 70,703 91,711 70,564 91,633 159,640 201,138 234,564 228,738
            Polish 419,912 581,936 419,006 581,591 801,680 965,899 1,077,392 943,781
            Slovak 82,561 125,000 82,429 124,943 171,580 240,196 274,948 166,474
            Bulgarian (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 12,128 12,853 18,341
            Serbo-Croatian 5/ 83,064 86,957 82,652 86,860 70,600 109,923 125,844 105,669
            Slovene 19,178 32,108 19,063 32,089 75,560 77,671 80,437 123,631
        Baltic languages 95,188 99,043 94,848 98,945 122,660 172,643 182,227 140,963
            Lithuanian 95,188 99,043 94,848 98,945 122,660 165,053 (NA) (NA)
            Lettish (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 7,590 (NA) (NA)
        Armenian 38,323 37,270 (NA) (NA) 40,000 51,741 37,647 23,938
        Iranian languages 17,329 7,503 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
            Persian 15,986 6,936 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Indic languages 22,173 3,561 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
            Hindi 22,017 3,493 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Indo-European languages n.e.c. 6/ 40,105 53,262 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
     Asian and Pacific Island languages 556,445 306,624 8,988 9,107 (NA) 10,457 6,627 4,709
        Turkic languages 16,646 14,063 (NA) (NA) (NA) 10,457 6,627 4,709
            Turkish 16,646 14,063 (NA) (NA) (NA) 10,457 6,627 4,709
        Dravidian languages 7,535 1,030 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Chinese 190,260 89,609 4,734 3,892 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Thai (Laotian) 11,695 1,666 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Japanese 118,090 95,027 4,254 5,215 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Korean 34,748 8,550 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Indonesian languages 6,915 7,273 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Philippine languages 152,498 73,500 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
            Tagalog 152,498 73,500 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Polynesian languages 4,956 1,372 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Asian and Pacific Island
          languages n.e.c.
13,102 14,534 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
     Other languages 325,074 360,019 273,500 314,745 389,240 446,026 481,543 382,048
        Uralic languages 199,543 266,286 198,749 265,963 338,300 378,196 423,986 349,180
            Finnish 38,290 53,168 38,069 53,094 97,080 124,994 132,543 119,948
            Hungarian 161,253 213,118 160,680 212,869 241,220 250,393 290,419 229,094
        Caucasian 421 192 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Basque 2,169 1,580 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Semitic languages 110,527 88,516 72,024 48,782 50,940 67,830 57,557 32,868
            Arabic 73,657 49,908 72,024 48,782 50,940 67,830 57,557 32,868
            Hebrew 2/ 36,112 38,346 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        African languages 6,605 982 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
        Native American languages 5,809 2,463 2,727 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
    Mother tongue n.e.c. 189,170 8,113 377,970 222,965 63,880 3,352 1,228 646
Mother tongue data not available 96,147 377,976 82,014 331,334 248,500 42,233 7,166 116,272

* Indicates sample data.
(NA) Not available.
1/ For 1970, assumes that all individuals with Celtic mother tongue are White.
2/ For 1910-1940, Hebrew included with Yiddish.
3/ For White in 1960, the published estimate (794,714) includes Basque. The estimate here assumes that all individuals with Basque mother tongue (1,580) are White.
4/ For 1920, probably includes a "considerable proportion" of individuals of Yiddish mother tongue erroneously reported as of Russian mother tongue. See sources in text.
5/ For White in 1960, the published estimate (87,997) includes Dalmatian. The estimate here assumes that all individuals with Dalmatian mother tongue (1,137) are White.
6/ For 1970, includes 10,031 cases of Breton (which appears to be an unrealistically large number), and 10,208 cases of Other Balto-Slavonic languages. In 1960, the 535 cases of Breton were included with French. For 1960, includes 49,610 cases of Other Balto-Slavonic languages.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Authors: Campbell Gibson and Emily Lennon
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Last Revised: October 31, 2011 at 10:03:04 PM