New data published by the US Census includes some interesting information about the numbers and locations of Native North American language speakers. Among the data released are the following estimates:
- The largest number of Native language speakers is concentrated in Apache County, Arizona, with 37,000 people speaking an American Indian language.
- McKinley County, New Mexico has the second highest number of speakers at 33,000.
- Twenty percent of all American Indian language speakers live in either McKinley County or Apache County.
- The American Indian language most commonly spoken is Navajo, with 169,000 speakers.
- The second and third most commonly spoken Native languages are Yupik and Dakota, each with around 19,000 speakers.
- Arizona, New Mexico and Alaska together claim 65% of the nation’s American Indian language speakers.
- Only 5% of people living in American Indian and Alaska Native areas speak a Native language.
If you’re curious to find out more, additional Census Bureau information related specifically to American Indians and Alaska Natives is available at http://factfinder.census.gov/home/aian/index.html