The story of Indian immigrants is remarkable in the United States. Just walk along a fancy street in New York City or Washington DC and you will definitely hear one or the other Indian language emanating from some establishment or other. And why not, Indians form the majority of Asians in the United States with approximately 3.5 million people. Now, the United States Census Bureau has listed the top five Indian languages spoken in the country.
As per the census report, Hindi tops the list followed by Gujarati while Telugu beats Bengali and Tamil speakers in the US to emerge on the 3rd spot. Though Urdu with over 4,24,482 speakers stands at second place in Indian languages, the survey includes people from Pakistan. It was conducted in 2016 and the date of release is September 2017, as per The Times of India.
However, the striking part of the survey is that Telugu is the third most widely spoken Indian language in the country. This is the first time that the number of Telugu speakers has been counted. Before this, speakers of Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, and Bengali were only clubbed under categories such as ‘Other Indic languages’ and ‘Other Asian languages’. The survey released by the United States Census Bureau says that Telugu speakers account for 3.2 lakh people in the latest US census. According to the 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates data release, 3,21,695 people over the age of five speak Telugu at home. Tamil also figures on this list, with 2,38,699 people speaking Tamil at home. As per the survey, of the 280,867 people aged five and older who spoke Punjabi at home, 48 percent lived in California. Of the 259,204 people aged five and older who spoke Bengali at home, 38.6 percent lived in New York.
It is a big leap for Hindi as a survey in October stated that Hindi is the second most widely spoken non-English language among American physicians. It is spoken by 13.8% of multilingual American physicians.
The US census survey features more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics, including homeowner rates and costs, health insurance and educational attainment. “The American Community Survey allows us to track incremental changes across our nation on how people live and work, year-to-year,” ToI quoted David Waddington, chief of the Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division as saying.