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Top five languages by state

Table 3. Top Five Languages Spoken by LEP Students, by State, 2000-2001
Jurisdiction Reported LEPS* #1 Language #2 Language #3 Language #4 Language #5 Language
Language % Language % Language % Language % Language %
USA 4,552,403 Spanish 79.0% Vietnamese 2.0% Hmong 1.6% Cantonese 1.0% Korean 1.0%
Alabama 7,434 Spanish 74.7% Vietnamese 5.8% Korean 1.9% Arabic 1.7% Lao 1.6%
Alaska 19,896 Yup'ik 38.6% Inupiak 11.2% Spanish 10.0% Tagalog 5.6% Russian 3.4%
Arizona 198,477 Spanish 85.6% Navajo 7.8% Apache 1.3% Vietnamese 1.0% Arabic 0.7%
Arkansas 10,600 Spanish 87.6% Lao 2.4% Vietnamese 2.2% Arabic 0.7% Korean 0.5%
California 1,511,299 Spanish 83.4% Vietnamese 2.5% Hmong 1.8% Cantonese 1.7% Tagalog 1.2%
Colorado 71,199 Spanish 81.8% Vietnamese 2.6% Asian (unsp) 2.2% Korean 1.8% Russian 1.8%
Connecticut 21,492 Spanish 67.6% Portuguese 5.3% Polish 2.8% Albanian 2.6% Serbo-Croatian 2.6%
Delaware 2,371 Spanish 72.3% Haitian Creole 7.6% Korean 3.3% Chinese (unsp) 2.7% Afrikaans 1.3%
Dist. of Columbia 5,435 Spanish 76.4% Vietnamese 3.9% Amharic 2.5% English Creole 1.4% French 1.3%
Florida 249,821 Spanish 75.8% Haitian Creole 12.4% Portuguese 2.2% French 1.1% Vietnamese 1.0%
Georgia 64,849 Spanish 70.1% Vietnamese 4.4% African (unsp) 4.2% European (unsp) 3.1% Korean 2.4%
Hawaii 11,687 Ilocano 31.8% Samoan 12.4% Marshallese 9.1% Cantonese 6.3% Japanese 5.3%
Idaho 19,298 Spanish 78.8% Native American (unsp) 5.6% Serbo-Croatian 3.0% Vietnamese 1.0% Kurdish 1.0%
Illinois 140,540 Spanish 77.6% Polish 4.4% Arabic 1.7% Urdu 1.6% Serbo-Croatian 1.5%
Indiana 20,467 Spanish 64.4% Penn. Dutch 3.7% Japanese 1.5% Korean 1.3% Arabic 1.2%
Iowa 11,402 Spanish 62.3% Serbo-Croatian 11.6% Vietnamese 6.7% Lao 3.6% German 1.3%
Kansas 19,075 Spanish 81.3% Vietnamese 4.4% Lao 1.6% Cantonese 0.8% Korean 0.8%
Kentucky 5,119 Spanish 47.3% Serbo-Croatian 13.0% Vietnamese 6.4% Japanese 5.5% Arabic 3.6%
Louisiana 6,346 Spanish 48.5% Vietnamese 25.1% Arabic 4.4% Chinese (unsp) 3.7% French 2.3%
Maine 2,737 French 16.8% Spanish 12.9% Passamaquoddy 10.7% Somali 9.2% Khmer 8.9%
Maryland 12,183 Spanish 53.0% Korean 6.0% Haitian Creole 3.4% Vietnamese 3.0% French 2.9%
Massachusetts** 24,165 Spanish 69.4% Portuguese 10.0% Khmer 5.1% Vietnamese 4.9% Haitian Creole 3.0%
Michigan 36,463 Spanish 44.8% Arabic 22.5% Chaldean 5.0% Hmong 3.4% Albanian 3.0%
Minnesota 46,601 Hmong 34.1% Spanish 28.3% Somali 6.6% Vietnamese 4.4% Lao 3.6%
Mississippi 63,116 Spanish 60.4% Vietnamese 18.8% Choctaw 7.1% Arabic 2.2% Sudanese 2.0%
Missouri 2,954 Spanish 44.2% Serbo-Croatian 19.2% Vietnamese 6.6% Arabic 3.9% Somali 3.3%
Montana 11,525 Blackfoot 25.2% Crow 15.6% Dakota 10.6% Salish 8.1% Assiniboine 7.5%
Nebraska 7,575 Spanish 76.8% Vietnamese 6.1% Nuer 3.3% Arabic 2.7% Serbo-Croatian 1.8%
Nevada 10,301 Spanish 91.5% Tagalog 1.9% Chinese (unsp) 1.0% Vietnamese 0.6% Korean 0.5%
New Hampshire 38,902 Spanish 38.7% Serbo-Croatian 10.5% Portuguese 5.1% Arabic 4.1% Vietnamese 3.8%
New Jersey 3,321 Spanish 67.3% Portuguese 3.8% Korean 3.3% Haitian Creole 2.5% Arabic 2.5%
New Mexico 52,701 Spanish 78.8% Navajo 14.6% Vietnamese 0.5% Arabic 0.1% Russian 0.1%
New York 58,308 Spanish 62.2% Cantonese 5.2% Russian 3.0% Chinese (unsp) 2.7% Urdu 2.7%
North Carolina 165,238 Spanish 77.6% Hmong 5.6% Vietnamese 2.2% Arabic 1.4% Chinese (unsp) 1.2%
North Dakota 52,482 Native American (unsp) 85.9% Serbo-Croatian 4.5% Spanish 2.2% Sudanese 1.6% Somali 1.1%
Ohio 7,190 Spanish 39.2% Arabic 8.2% Somali 8.0% Penn. Dutch 5.4% Japanese 4.9%
Oklahoma 19,814 Spanish 51.7% Cherokee 20.2% Choctaw 4.2% Vietnamese 4.2% Muskogee 3.5%
Oregon 43,410 Spanish 72.5% Russian 8.4% Vietnamese 3.6% Ukrainian 1.7% Hmong 1.4%
Pennsylvania 44,126 Spanish 52.9% Vietnamese 5.0% Khmer 3.6% Russian 3.4% Korean 3.2%
Rhode Island 31,277 Spanish 69.8% Portuguese 6.7% Kabuverdianu 4.9% Khmer 2.5% Lao 1.8%
South Carolina*** 10,164 Spanish 77.3% Russian 2.8% Vietnamese 2.4% Hmong 1.5% Korean 1.5%
South Dakota 6,900 Lakota 57.4% Spanish 8.8% German 8.6% Hutterite 4.2% Dakota 3.7%
Tennessee 5,848 Spanish 61.2% Vietnamese 4.8% Arabic 4.2% Korean 2.2% Japanese 2.0%
Texas*** 12,350 Spanish 93.4% Vietnamese 1.9% Cantonese 0.7% Urdu 0.5% Korean 0.4%
Utah** 558,773 Spanish 65.3% Navajo 6.7% Vietnamese 2.5% Lao 1.3% Portuguese 1.0%
Vermont 41,057 Serbo-Croatian 26.7% Vietnamese 16.7% Spanish 12.3% Chinese (unsp) 6.4% French 4.2%
Virginia 998 Spanish 60.4% Korean 5.2% Vietnamese 4.8% Urdu 3.9% Arabic 3.9%
Washington 35,298 Spanish 60.9% Russian 7.5% Vietnamese 6.4% Ukrainian 4.7% Korean 2.5%
West Virginia 57,409 Spanish 26.3% Arabic 8.6% Khmer 8.5% Japanese 4.2% Korean 2.7%
Wisconsin 1,139 Spanish 47.8% Hmong 40.1% Lao 1.1% Serbo-Croatian 1.0% Albanian 1.0%
Wyoming** 29,037 Spanish 90.4% Vietnamese 6.0% Russian 3.6% - - - -
Guam 634 Chamorro 45.4% Tagalog 32.2% Chuukese 11.1% Palauan 2.4% Pohnpeian 2.3%
Marshall Islands^ 19,523 Marshallese 100.0%                
Micronesia^ 32,470 Chuukese 37.5% Pohnpeian 27.1% Kosraean 6.7% Yapese 6.4% Mortlockese 5.8%
N. Mariana Islands 7,926 Chamorro 67.1% Tagalog 15.1% Palauan 5.1% Chuukese 4.7% Pohnpeian 2.0%
Palau** 2,651 Palauan 98.8% Tagalog 0.6% Yapese 0.3% Carolinian 0.1% Chamorro 0.0%
Puerto Rico 598,063 Spanish 100.0%                
Virgin Islands** 959 Spanish 89.4% Haitian Creole 4.6% Arabic 1.3% - - - -
* For unspecified reasons, the totals for LEP students reported under the language item of the survey did not equal the total LEP enrollment reported in many states.
** Data from 1999-2000.
*** Data from 2001-2002.
^ Estimate based on data from Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 14th Edition. Dallas: SIL International. 2002. Available online: www.sil.org/ethnologue.
- A dash [-] indicates that data was either missing or not available.

SOURCE: NCELA, Office of English Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students, Survey of the States’ Limited English Students and Available Educational Programs and Services, 2000-01 Summary Report.



This summary is based on a review conducted for the Center for Public Education by researchers at Edvantia, an education research and development not-for-profit corporation founded in 1966.  For more information, see Research Review: What research says about preparing English language learners for academic success.

Posted: October 30, 2007

©2007 Center for Public Education
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