In Wyoming, English is the official state language. However, that doesn’t mean others aren’t spoken by residents of the state. Wyoming has a diverse population, and many immigrants arriving in the state bring their languages with them. Plus, members of indigenous tribes also call Wyoming home, and some speak their tribe’s language. Often, languages spoken in a state reflect the region’s history, as well as immigration patterns. Here’s an overview of the immigration history of Wyoming, along with the top ten languages of Wyoming (besides English).
Wyoming Immigration History
Initially, Wyoming’s population was composed of indigenous people. However, the composition changed as European immigrants and individuals from Eastern parts of the United States who were also of European descent began arriving. Many of them headed toward the military posts that were established in the region. Additionally, the Union Pacific Railroad – which was built in the state in the late 1860s – led to the development of settlements.
During the construction of the railroad, Chinese immigrants became more common in Wyoming. Over time, immigrants from other nations also came to the state. As a result, Wyoming does have Asian, Hispanic, and African populations, though their numbers are far below those of white European descent.
Top 10 Languages of Wyoming (Other Than English)
Wyoming has one of the smaller populations when compared to other US states, with an estimated 581,381 residents. While English is spoken by the majority, for approximately 6.8 percent of residents aged five and older (around 39,534 people), a language other than English is spoken at home.
Additionally, about 1.94 percent of the Wyoming population (an estimated 11,279 residents) is considered to have limited English proficiency (LEP). As a result, many other languages are spoken by residents regularly. Here’s an overview of the top ten languages of Wyoming (besides English).
As is the case in most US states, Spanish is the most widely spoken non-English language in Wyoming. It’s spoken as a primary language by an estimated 25,717 residents, giving them a population share of about 4.71 percent.
German is the second most common non-English language in Wyoming, though the number of speakers is far below Spanish. Overall, around 1,980 residents speak German, resulting in a population share of a bit more than 0.36 percent.
3. Other Native American Languages
While a few Native American languages are calculated separately, most aren’t separated out in census data. Wyoming has an estimated 1,975 residents who speak these various Native American languages, and they make up around 0.36 percent of the population.
Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin) is spoken by approximately 1,103 Wyoming residents. As a result, they have a population share of a little more than 0.20 percent.
French (including Cajun) speakers make up nearly 0.20 percent of the Wyoming population. In total, there are an estimated 1,072 French speakers in the state.
In Wyoming, there are approximately 691 Russian speakers. That gives them a population share of nearly 0.13 percent.
Japanese is spoken by about 592 residents of Wyoming. As a result, Japanese speakers make up almost 0.11 percent of the population.
Tagalog (including Filipino) is the eighth most commonly spoken non-English language in Wyoming. The estimated 539 speakers make up nearly 0.10 percent of the population.
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, and other Austronesian languages are spoken by approximately 530 Wyoming residents, giving them a population share close to 0.10 percent.
Korean is the tenth most widely used non-English language in Wyoming. The estimated 357 speakers make up almost 0.07 percent of the population.
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