Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Languages in Each State

9. Florida
> Most popular language: French Creole
> Residents who speak French Creole at home: 435,489
> French Creole-speaking population: 2.1%

Florida is not only the Sunshine State, but also the only state that has French Creole is its top foreign language. Unlike most states, the number of people who speak the most common foreign language in Florida is greater than the number of people with Creole ancestry. Only 1,709 people have documented Creole ancestry, despite the large group of 435,489 residents speaking the French variety at home.

18. Louisiana
> Most popular language: French
> Residents who speak French at home: 76,924
> French-speaking population: 1.6%

It’s no surprise that the most popular foreign language in Louisiana is French. Why? Two words: Mardi Gras. Close to one in every 10 Louisiana residents has French ancestry.”

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Languages do matter!


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