US Census Releases Data on Native North American Language Speakers

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

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