Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A map of non-English non-Spanish languages spoken in the USA

Somebody has done some grunt work and produced a map of the USA that shows the most commonly used language in each state other than English and Spanish. The results make for some interesting, not to say bewildering, reading, and are a testament, I suppose, to the lesser known immigration history of the United States.
For example, the cluster of Vietnamese speakers in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, the cluster of Philippino (Tagalog) speakers in California and Nevada, and the cluster of Koreans in Alabama and Georgia. Then there are two clusters of German speakers, a mid-West one comprising Ohio, Indian and Kentucky, and another in the Rockies, in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota. The Portuguese clearly settled in the New England states of Massachussetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, but it's news to me. Chinese states, on the other hand, seem to be spread pretty much at random across the country.
French makes sense in the New England states bordering Quebec, and in ex-French colony Louisiana, but North Carolina? Likewise, Haitian Creole perhaps belongs in Florida, but Delaware? There are a surprising number of states with a plurality of Arabic speakers (despite Donald Trump's best efforts), including West Virginia, Tennessee and Michigan, none of which I think of as particularly progressive states. And then there are the outliers: Nepalis in Nebraska, Somali in Minnesota, Hmong in Wisconsin, Gujarati (not Italian!) in New Jersey. Inexplicable!
And finally, it's interesting to see that some native languages remain strong: Navajo in New Mexico and Arizona, Dakota/Lakota/Nakita/Sioux in South Dakota, Aleut-Eskimo in Alaska, Ilocana in Hawaii.

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