Thursday, May 22, 2014

Most Commonly Spoken Languages Other than English or Spanish

Read the full article by Ben Blatt over at Slate

This is fun! Author Ben Blatt from State decided to have some fun with maps. I wonder if he used GIS? He used the Census Bureau's American Community Survey to map out the most widely spoken languages in the U.S. by state. He starts with langugages other than English and got the map above. Not surprising, Spanish is the most common second language in the majority of states. 

Then, he threw out Spanish and mapped the second-most widely spoken languages. The results are in the map below:

Wow! Portuguese is going strong in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This makes sense - I've often heard it quipped that there are more Cape Verdeans in Massachusetts than in the Cape Verde Islands. There is a long history of Portuguese immigration to the Northeast, followed by Cape Verdeans and Brazilians. It is interesting, and heartening to see that in some states Native American languages are widely spoken. 

Pulling out Spanish was such a great idea. It helps to see the linguistic diversity of the U.S. and geographic and historical trends in immigration. Look at Florida. Most people assume all immigrants to Florida are least Spanish-speakers - and if they provide services in Spanish, they are golden. But we also have a large Haitian population, that often gets looked over when companies and agencies are providing linguistic services. 

Read the full article by Ben Blatt over at Slate

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