Hindi is the most spoken Indian language in the United States, followed by Urdu, Gujarati and Telugu. Bengali and Tamil are other widely spoken Indian languages, according to the American Community Survey 2016.
The survey found that 810,877 people speak Hindi at home, double the number of Gujarati speakers (407,520). Hindi is the 11th most popular foreign language in the country.
Urdu had more speakers than Gujarati, with 424,482 people conversing in the language, but it includes people from Pakistan as well. Telugu was the fourth most popular Indian language in the United States, with 365,566 people aged over five years speaking it at home. Nearly 3.6 million people in the United States speak Indic and Dravidian languages.
The survey also found that Tamil, Telugu and Hindi speakers were most proficient in speaking English. Nearly 81 percent of Tamilian speakers and 79 percent of Hindi and Telugu speakers reported speaking English “very well.” By contrast, just 56 percent of Bengali speakers and 59 percent of Punjabi spoke English “very well.” Overall, 71 percent of Indian language speakers reported speaking English “very well.”
The survey found that just 22 percent of Americans speak a second language at home. Spanish was the most popular foreign language with more than 40 million speakers, followed by Chinese with 3.4 million speakers.