Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
The Many Languages of New York City
Friday, December 07, 2012
Just 51 percent of New Yorkers speak only English at home, according to recent data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. As for the other 49 percent, well, the languages span the globe.
Not surprisingly, Spanish (and Spanish Creole) speakers make up a bulk of the non-English population — about 25 percent of the city, or 1,87 million residents. Chinese came in second, with around 419,000 speakers in the Big Apple. There are around 106,000 people who chat in French Creole, another 81,000 who speak French, and 186,000 Russian speakers.
The survey also found 85,000 Yiddish speakers, while 47,000 speak Hebrew at home. Nearly 200,000 New Yorkers converse in an Indic language, like Hindi, Urdu or Gujarati. And 53,000 communicate in Arabic.
Check out the chart below to view all languages that can be heard in the city, including Laotian, Navajo, Hungarian Greek, along with what proportion of each group say they speak English "very well."