languages map

When English and Spanish are taken out of the equation, Wisconsin's counties have a number of different languages spoken most prominently.

Slate recently mapped some U.S. Census Bureau data showing which languages besides English were spoken most prominently in states.

As is the case in 42 other states, Spanish ranks second for what's spoken in Wisconsin households.

When Spanish also comes out of the equation, however, German is next on the list in Wisconsin — not surprising considering the state's high concentration of German immigrants dating back to the 19th century. Fifteen other states also have German in the top three; it's No. 2 in North Dakota.

Considering how linguistically rich Wisconsin is, however, there's plenty more to say than just a blanket statement covering all of the state.

While Spanish ranks second to English among languages spoken at home in the majority of Wisconsin counties, more than 20 percent list another language at No. 2.

The Census Bureau compiles the figures as part of the American Community Survey, on which it asks respondents whether they speak a language other than English at home, and if so which one. These results are based on five-year estimates from 2008 to 2012.

The author of the Slate article also looked at which language was most prominently spoken when both English and Spanish are taken out of the equation.

For Wisconsin's counties, that introduces a lot of German, West Germanic and Hmong results into the map.

In Dane County, however, the No. 3 language is Chinese. Considering the growing number of UW-Madison students from China — 2,460 as of last fall — maybe that's not too much of a surprise.

To dig a little deeper into the data, use our interactive tool below.

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