Where are Punjabi and Tamil being spoken across America? The U.S. government now finally knows
By: Barfi Culture Team
Published: 20th December 2017

Where do Punjabi speakers live in America? Turns out they are mostly in central California and near Jackson, Mississippi.

What about those who speak Bengali at home? Nearly half of them live in New York.

For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau has started to track four Indian languages spoken in American households: Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu and Tamil.

Just over 21% of Americans speak a language other than English at home. The survey tracked where most of them live across the United States.

» Of the 280,867 people who spoke Punjabi at home, 48% lived in California.

» Of the 259,204 people who spoke Bengali at home, 38.6% lived in New York.

» Of the 321,695 people who spoke Telugu and the 238,699 people who spoke Tamil at home, the highest concentration lived in California, followed by Texas and New Jersey.

The high number of Telugu speakers relates to recent waves of immigration from south India, most of whom primarily work in the technology sector.

The U.S. Census Bureau also tweeted out this infographic:

The California-based community group Jakara Movement last night tweeted they were "excited" to hear that Punjabi was now being reported as an independent language.

It took a lot of work, they told Barfi Culture.

"Took some months working with various congressman, collecting existing figures beforehand, created literature for officials based on their districts, & organized constituency pressure."

"Then [we] had to make it bipartisan as various congressional officials wanted to be lead signatories."

All the hard work paid off.

Article published on 20th December 2017 in the Culture section

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