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Top Languages Other than English Spoken in 1980 and Changes in Relative Rank, 1990-2010

February 14, 2013

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In 1980, the five most commonly spoken languages other than English were Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Polish. By 2010, Spanish was still the most widely spoken language after English but it was followed by Chinese, French, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. More information about language spoken at home can be found at www.census.gov/topics/population/language-use.html.

SOURCE: Decennial censuses 1980-2000 and 2010 ACS 1-year estimates

NOTE: Square area is proportional to the number of people speaking a given language. Data are for the population 5 and older.

Spanish includes Spanish Creole, French includes Patois, Cajun, and French Creole; Portuguese includes Portuguese Creole. The languages highlighted are the languages where comparable data were available for the four time periods: 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010. Other languages spoken in 2010 at least as widely as those shown above include Arabic, Cambodian, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Navajo, Thai, and Urdu.

As is the case with all surveys (including the 1980, 1990, and Census 2000 “long-form”), statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For more information, go to www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/technical-documentation.html.

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