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Here at GPS, we love deep data dives. We also revel in the fact that America continues to be the melting pot that it has always been. So we were interested to see a piece on Slate.com last week analyzing the most common languages spoken in each state using U.S. census data.
This first map is predictable – other than English, Spanish is the most spoken language in almost all U.S. states. But watch what happens when you remove Spanish from the equation. Now there is the melting pot.
In Michigan, Arabic clocks in as the third most commonly spoken language.
In Minnesota, it's Hmong.
In Oregon, it's Russian.
It's Vietnamese in four states – Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Washington.
It's a Filipino language called Tagalog in Hawaii, California, and Nevada.
In four states, its Native American languages.
It's French in 11 states.
And in 16 states, it's German. If you're surprised at that number, according to recent census measures of countries of ancestry, people of German heritage outnumber all other groups in the United States – even Irish! Remember, until World War I, by some accounts, German was the second most widely spoken language in all of the United States. And that tradition seems to linger.