Dr. Stat

Dr. Stat is a Statistics Professor. This blog is his opportunity to share ideas and opinions about education (especially math education), politics, and whatever else comes up.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Languages Other Than English

I was looking at some census data on languages spoken at home. I was particularly interested in the area where I grew up, so I started with North Dakota.

Looking at the 2000 census, for North Dakota as a whole, ages five and over, we have 565,130 who speak only English, and the top 5 other languages spoken in the home are as follows:

German 14,931
Spanish 8,263
Scandinavian 3,193
Other Native American 2,536
French 1,597

In Mercer County, we have 7200 who speak only English, and the top 5 other languages spoken in the home are as follows:

German 895
Spanish 103
Other Slavic 10
Scandinavian 9
Chinese 9

In Oliver County, we have 1866 who speak only English, and only two other languages as follows:

German 81
Spanish 14

I also thought it might be interesting to look at the rankings in each state for languages other than English. I tabulated the top first, second, or third most frequent language spoken at home, other than English, in all of the states.

Spanish, of course, comes up first in 42 states. But in two states German is first (ND and SD) and in four states French is first! "Other Native American" comes in first once, as does "Pacific Islander." Spanish makes the top three in all but one state, and German makes the top three in 31 states! French makes the top 3 in half of the states. All others are far behind.