There are around 500 languages spoken in the United States. However, the constitution does not specify any language as the official language at the federal level. Thirty-two states have declared English the national language. For example, Hawaii recognizes Hawaiian and English as the official languages while Alaska recognizes English and 20 other native languages as the official languages. American English is the most spoken language, while Spanish is the second most spoken language in the country.

A majority of people residing in the United States of America speak English as the country was a British colony before gaining independence in 1776. The British language and culture was adopted post-independence and became the accepted norms of the United States. In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a survey to determine the population and ethnic diversity of the country. The survey revealed that 237.8 million people spoke English as their first language, 40.5 million spoke Spanish, 3.4 million spoke Chinese, and 1.7 million spoke Tagalog. Furthermore, 1.5 million spoke Vietnamese as a first language. Arabic was spoken by 1.2 million as a first language, 1.2 million spoke French while 1.1 million spoke Korean.

American English differs from British English. Some words used in America might mean something different when used in Britain (the opposite is also true). The accent is also different. American and Canadian English share much in common, including, for the most part, accents.


The United States recognizes six racial categories among its population. These categories are Americans, African Americans, Native Hawaiian. Native Americans, Alaska Native, Asian American, and other races form the Pacific islands. White Americans make up the largest race, while African Americans make up 13.3% and Hispanic and Latino Americans make up 17.8% of the population.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018