How Many Languages Are Spoken in NYC?

By Nigel Amaya on November 9 2018 in World Facts

Newspapers being sold in various languages in New York City. Editorial credit: Lawrey /
Newspapers being sold in various languages in New York City. Editorial credit: Lawrey /

New York City is the largest city in the United States and one of the largest cities in North America. It is also one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. The city has a long history of immigration, with the city acting as the point of entry for millions of immigrants over the years. Today, there are over 800 languages spoken in New York City. For this reason, New York is often recognized as the world's most linguistically diverse city. 

Most Common Languages in NYC 

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 51 percent of the population in New York speaks only English, especially in their homes. The remaining 49 percent speak other languages. Spanish and Spanish Creole is the second most spoken language in New York. Spanish speakers make up about 25 percent of the New York population which translates to approximately 1.9 million residents. The Chinese language comes third with about 420,000 speakers. There is also a population of about 187,000 people who speak Russian while 106,000 speak French Creole. French speakers are about 81,000 people. A total of about 200,000 people in New York speak Hindi, Gujarati or Urdu. A total of 47,000 people speak Hebrew, and around 85,000 people speak the Yiddish language. 

New York is known for its famous "New York accent" in the English language. However, not everybody who lives in this city speaks with such an accent. Nevertheless, it remains to be one of the most recognizable American accents globally because of its common media portrayal. 

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