Hindi is the most spoken Indian language in US: Census

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2015 13:45 IST

Hindi has emerged as the most spoken Indian language in the United States, with nearly 6.5 lakh people speaking it, according to the latest census data.

The US Census Bureau -- based on American Community Survey data collected from 2009 to 2013 -- said more than 60 million people in the US speak a language other than English at home.

Top languages other than English spoken in US homes include Spanish (with more than 37.4 million speakers), Chinese (about 2.9 million), French (1.3 million), Korean (1.1 million), German (1.1 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million), Arabic (924,573), Tagalog (1.6 million) and Russian (879,434).

Hindi, though, tops the list from India with nearly 6.5 lakh speakers.

Nearly 4 lakh US residents speak Urdu while Gujarati is spoken by more than 3.7 lakh people. Other than Hindi, all the major Indian languages are also spoken in the US.

While Bengali and Punjabi are spoken by more than 2.5 lakh people each, the Census bureau said Marathi is spoken by more than 73,000 people, Oriya (more than 5,000), Assamese (about 1300) and Kashmiri by about 1700 people in the US.

It also listed Bihari as a language spoken by nearly 600 people and Rajasthani by about 700.

Moreover, Nepali is spoken by more than 94,000 people and Sindhi by nearly 9,000.

Nearly 250,000 people speak Telugu while Tamil is spoken by about 190,000 people, Malayalam (about 146,000 people) and Kannada (about 48,000).

Tribal language Munda is spoken by more than 2,000 people and Tibetan by over 16,000.

The data released by Census Bureau on Tuesday represents the most comprehensive data on languages spoken in the US.

These are the most comprehensive data ever released from the Census Bureau on languages spoken less widely in the US, such as Pennsylvania Dutch, Ukrainian, Turkish, Romanian, Amharic and many others.

Also included are 150 different Native North American languages, collectively spoken by more than 350,000 people -- including Yupik, Dakota, Apache, Keres and Cherokee.

“While most of the US population speaks only English at home or a handful of other languages like Spanish or Vietnamese, the American Community Survey released the wide-ranging language diversity of the US,” said Erik Vickstrom, a Census Bureau statistician.

“For example, in the New York metro area alone, more than a third of the population speaks a language other than English at home, and close to 200 different languages are spoken.”

“Knowing the number of languages and how many speak these languages in a particular area provides valuable information to policymakers, planners and researchers,” he added.

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