Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Nearly 1 in 3 N.J. residents speak another language

In Pa., 10 percent speak a language besides English at home

RUSSIAN: This Census Bureau map shows where Russian-speakers live in the Philadelphia region. Each dot represents about 10 people.
RUSSIAN: This Census Bureau map shows where Russian-speakers live in the Philadelphia region. Each dot represents about 10 people.
Story Highlights
  • Nearly one-third of New Jersey residents speak another language.
  • Just more than 10 percent of Pennsylvania residents speak another language.
  • California is the state with the highest percentage.
RUSSIAN: This Census Bureau map shows where Russian-speakers live in the Philadelphia region. Each dot represents about 10 people. Gallery: MAPS: Languages spoken in the Philadelphia region

Nearly one-third of New Jersey residents speak a language other than English at home, while just more than 10 percent of Pennsylvania residents do so.

A U.S. Census Bureau report on language use released today says that nationwide, 20.8 percent of Americans speak a language besides English at home. 

In New Jersey, that percentage stands at 30.4, the fourth-highest in the country. Just 10.3 percent of Pennsylvanians speak another language.

(See maps showing where other languages are most heavily spoken in the Philadelphia region)

In New Jersey, 57.4 percent of residents who speak a non-English language also speak English “very well,” the report says. The Census Bureau found that 20.7 percent spoke English “well,” 15.4 percent spoke the language “not well” and 6.4 percent don’t speak it at all.

Among Pennsylvanians, 62.6 percent of residents who also use another language speak English “very well,” 19.7 percent “well,” 13.3 percent “not well” and 4.4 percent not at all. 

California is the state with the highest percentage of residents who speak a language other than English at home. There, 43.6 percent of residents speak another language. Rounding out the top three are New Mexico, with 36.5 percent of residents speaking a language besides English, and Texas, with 34.7 percent of residents speaking another language.

Pennsylvania’s tally may seem low, but it’s still above the 22 states in which less than 10 percent of residents speak a language other than English.

Several New Jersey metropolitan areas are among the regions of the country with the highest percentage of people speaking another language in their homes. 

In the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area, 39.1 percent of denizens speak another language. In the Trenton-Ewing region, 27.9 percent of residents speak a language besides English. And 27.4 percent of Atlantic City residents do so.

Also today, the Census Bureau released a new mapping tool that lets users see where people who speak languages other than English live.


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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