Minnesotans speak more than 100 languages at home, new data finds

By Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost


French. Tagalog. Arabic.

Those are just a few of the more than 100 languages — besides English — spoken in Minnesota homes, a U.S. Census Bureau data release Tuesday finds.

Those languages include German, Russian and Chinese as well as Native American languages such as Ojibwa, Menomini and Dakota.

Languages other than English spoken at home in Minnesota
In Minnesota, about 500,000 of the state’s 5 million residents speak a language other than English at home. Of those, a plurality — almost 200,000 — speak Spanish. Behind Spanish are Hmong and Cushite (a language family that includes Oromo and Somali), followed by German, with more than 24,000 speakers.

After English and Spanish, Asian and Pacific Islander languages are the most widely spoken ones in Minnesota homes. In Ramsey County, more than 28,700 people speak Hmong, the most spoken language (other than English) in the county, followed by Spanish, 25,290. Other languages spoken there include Swahili, Finnish and Hebrew.

The study, which is based on American Community Survey data collected from 2009-2013, also highlighted lesser-known languages spoken by thousands of Minnesotans: Tamil, Bisayan, Krio, Czech and many others.

Continue reading at MinnPost

Ibrahim Hirsi reports on immigrant communities, social issues, marginalized groups and people who work on making a difference in the lives of others. A graduate from the University of Minnesota, he interned for Newsday and has written for multiple publications in Minnesota.

Follow Ibrahim Hirsi on Twitter: @IHirsi.

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