The most commonly used language in the United States is English (specifically, American English), which is the de facto national language. Nonetheless, many other languages are also spoken, or historically have been spoken, in the United States. These include indigenous languages, languages brought to the country by colonists, enslaved people and immigrants from Europe, Africa and Asia. There are also several languages, including creoles and sign languages, that developed in the United States. Approximately 430 languages are spoken or signed by the population, of which 176 are indigenous to the area. Fifty-two languages formerly spoken in the country's territory are now extinct.

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  • The most commonly used language in the United States is English (specifically, American English), which is the de facto national language. Nonetheless, many other languages are also spoken, or historically have been spoken, in the United States. These include indigenous languages, languages brought to the country by colonists, enslaved people and immigrants from Europe, Africa and Asia. There are also several languages, including creoles and sign languages, that developed in the United States. Approximately 430 languages are spoken or signed by the population, of which 176 are indigenous to the area. Fifty-two languages formerly spoken in the country's territory are now extinct. Based on annual data from the American Community Survey (ACS), the U.S. Census Bureau regularly publishes information on the most common languages spoken at home. It also reports the English speaking ability of people who speak a language other than English at home. In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau published information on the number of speakers of over 350 languages as surveyed by the ACS from 2009 to 2013, but it does not regularly tabulate and report data for that many languages. According to the ACS in 2017, the most common languages spoken at home by people aged five years of age or older are as follows (the most recent data can be found via the U.S. Census Bureau's ACS chart at ): 1. * English only – 239 million 2. * Spanish – 41 million 3. * Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese) – 3.5 million 4. * Tagalog (including Filipino) – 1.7 million 5. * Vietnamese – 1.5 million 6. * Arabic – 1.2 million 7. * French – 1.2 million 8. * Korean – 1.1 million 9. * Russian – 0.94 million 10. * German – 0.92 million 11. * Haitian Creole – 0.87 million 12. * Hindi – 0.86 million 13. * Portuguese – 0.79 million 14. * Italian – 0.58 million 15. * Polish – 0.52 million 16. * Urdu – 0.51 million 17. * Yiddish – 0.51 million 18. * Japanese – 0.46 million 19. * Persian (including Farsi and Dari) – 0.42 million 20. * Gujarati – 0.41 million 21. * Telugu – 0.37 million 22. * Bengali – 0.32 million 23. * Tai–Kadai (including Thai and Lao) – 0.31 million 24. * Greek – 0.27 million 25. * Punjabi – 0.29 million 26. * Tamil – 0.27 million 27. * Armenian – 0.24 million 28. * Serbo-Croatian (including Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian) – 0.24 million 29. * Hebrew – 0.23 million 30. * Hmong – 0.22 million 31. * Bantu (including Swahili) – 0.22 million 32. * Khmer – 0.20 million 33. * Navajo – 0.16 million The ACS is not a full census but an annual sample-based survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The language statistics are based on responses to a three-part question asked about all members of a target U.S. household who are at least five years old. The first part asks if they "speak a language other than English at home." If so, the head of household or main respondent is asked to report which language each member speaks in the home, and how well each individual speaks English. It does not ask how well individuals speak any other language of the household. Thus, some respondents might have only a limited speaking ability of that language. In addition, it is difficult to make historical comparisons of the numbers of speakers because language questions used by the U.S. Census changed numerous times before 1980. The ACS does not tabulate the number of people who report the use of American Sign Language at home, so such data must come from other sources. While modern estimates indicate that American Sign Language was signed by as many as 500,000 Americans in 1972 (the last official survey of sign language), estimates as recently as 2011 were closer to 100,000. Various cultural factors, such as passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, have resulted in far greater educational opportunities for hearing-impaired children, which could double or triple the number of current users of American Sign Language. (en)
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  • The most commonly used language in the United States is English (specifically, American English), which is the de facto national language. Nonetheless, many other languages are also spoken, or historically have been spoken, in the United States. These include indigenous languages, languages brought to the country by colonists, enslaved people and immigrants from Europe, Africa and Asia. There are also several languages, including creoles and sign languages, that developed in the United States. Approximately 430 languages are spoken or signed by the population, of which 176 are indigenous to the area. Fifty-two languages formerly spoken in the country's territory are now extinct. (en)
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  • Languages of the United States (en)
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