With 8.74 lakh users as of 1st July 2018, Hindi is the most popular Indian language in the US, in terms of absolute numbers. There was an increase of 1.3% in the number of Hindi speakers as compared to 2017. Since 2010, the number of Hindi speakers in the US has increased by 2.65 lakh, which is an increase of 43.5%.
However, percentage-wise the number of Telegu speakers far exceed speakers of any other Indian language. The number of Telegu speakers increased by 79.5% between 2010 and 2018.
The American Community Survey was recently released by the United States Census Bureau. The survey shows that 67.3% of all American residents speak a language other than English at home.
The number of Bengali speakers in the US has increased by 68% to 3.75 lakhs between 2010 and 2018. Tamil speakers have increased by 67.5% to 3.08 lakhs as of 1st July 2018.
However, one should note that Bengali is also spoken by countries other than India, primarily Bangladesh. Tamil is also spoken in other countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.
Immigration Experts believe that with the inflow of immigrants from Bangladesh increasing, the number of Bengali speakers has also risen.
The number of Gujrati and Telegu speakers have dipped slightly between 2017 and 2018. Gujrati speakers stood at 4.19 lakh, which is a decline of 3.5% as compared to the previous year. As of 1st July 2018, there were 4 lakh Telegu speakers in the US as compared to 4.15 lakh the previous year. The number of Telegu speakers declined by 3.7%.
As per the Centre for Immigration Studies, the number of those speaking a second language other than English at home has doubled since 1990. Compared to 1980, the number has almost tripled.
More than 48% of the residents in the USA’s five largest cities speak a second language at home, other than English. It is 49% in New York, 59% in Los Angeles, 36% in Chicago, 59% in Phoenix and 38% in Houston.
As per the CIS report, on a global level, the number of Spanish speakers in the US increased by 4.5 million between 2010 and 2018. Chinese speakers increased by 6.63 lakh, while Arabic speakers increased by 3.94 lakh.
Hindi occupied the fifth spot with an increase of 2.65 lakh between 2010 and 2018.
Interestingly, a majority of speakers of various Indian languages are also quite proficient in English. More than 80% of all the Hindi, Tamil and Telegu speakers in the US speak English fluently.
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