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Nearly 6.5 lakh people in US speak Hindi



Updated On - Monday, 26 August 2013

6 August 2013

WASHINGTON: Nearly 6.5 lakh people in the US speak Hindi, while over 8 lakh people speak various regional Indian languages, a Census report on languages released today shows.

Though none of the Indian languages appear in the top 10 languages spoken in the US, the report shows South Asian languages have registered a substantial growth rate in the past decade.

"South Asian languages in particular experienced high levels of growth. Other Asian languages, a group comprised mostly of the South Asian languages, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil grew by 115 per cent, and Hindi grew by 105 per cent," the report said.

"Other Indic languages -- such as Punjabi, Bengali, and Marathi -- grew by 86 percent. The slowest growing South Asian languages were Gujarati (52 per cent) and Urdu (42 per cent), the reports said.

The report, 'Language Use in the United States: 2011', details the number of people speaking languages other than English at home and their ability to speak English, by selected social and demographic characteristics.

In addition to English and Spanish, there were six languages in 2011 spoken at home by at least one million people. They are Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, French, German and Korean.

According to the census, as many as 6,48,983 residents of the United States said they speak Hindi, with Urdu and Gujarati being spoken by 3,73,851 and 358,422 people respectively. As many as 8,15,345 Americans speak other Indic languages.

The data, taken from the American Community Survey, shows that more than half (58 per cent) of US residents older than 5 years who speak a language other than English at home, also speak English very well.
The report shows that the percent speaking English "less than very well" grew from 8.1 per cent in 2000 to 8.7 per cent in 2007, but has stayed stable since then.

"This study provides evidence of the growing role of languages other than English in the national fabric. Yet, at the same time that more people are speaking languages other than English at home, the percentage of people speaking English proficiently has remained steady, " said Camille Ryan, a statistician in the Census Bureau's Education and Social Stratification Branch and the report's author.

Published by: The Economic Times

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