Here Are The Best And Worst States For Language Education

The percentage of K-12 students enrolled in foreign language classes differs vastly depending on which state you live in. Find out how your state stacks up.
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Here Are The Best And Worst States For Language Education

The United States has a pretty bad reputation in regard to language education. And honestly, the criticism is valid. In total, only 20% of American students are learning a second language, compared to an average of 92% of students in European countries.

That being said, some U.S. states are better than others when it comes to language education. A report published by the American Councils for International Education reveals the percentage of K-12 students enrolled in a foreign language class. The results vary widely from state to state, ranging from over half to less than 10% of the student population learning a language. Read on to find out where your state falls in language education enrollment.

language education map

States With Highest Language Education Enrollment

5. Vermont

Foreign language enrollment: 35.03%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Latin

vermont

4. Maryland

Foreign language enrollment: 35.23%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Chinese

maryland

3. Wisconsin

Foreign language enrollment: 36.29%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, German

wisconsin

2. Washington, D.C.

Foreign language enrollment: 47.17%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Chinese (but Russian was a close 4th)

language education washington dc

1. New Jersey

Foreign language enrollment: 51.18%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Chinese

language education new jersey

States With Lowest Language Education Enrollment

46. Oregon

Foreign language enrollment: 10.83%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Chinese

language education oregon

47. Montana

Foreign language enrollment: 10.11%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Chinese

language education montana

48. Arkansas

Foreign language enrollment: 9.09%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, German

language education arkansas

49. Arizona

Foreign language enrollment: 9.08%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Chinese

language education arizona

50. New Mexico

Foreign language enrollment: 8.50%

Top 3 languages: Spanish, French, Chinese

new mexico

K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment By State

  1. New Jersey — 51.18%
  2. Washington, D.C. — 47.17%
  3. Wisconsin — 36.29%
  4. Maryland — 35.23%
  5. Vermont — 35.03%
  6. Delaware — 32.34%
  7. Connecticut — 28.26%
  8. New Hampshire — 27.47%
  9. New York — 27.21%
  10. Massachusetts — 26.43%
  11. Michigan — 22.50%
  12. Rhode Island — 22.45%
  13. Georgia — 22.23%
  14. Tennessee — 22.08%
  15. North Dakota — 21.88%
  16. Utah — 21.06%
  17. Florida — 20.88%
  18. South Carolina — 20.74%
  19. Minnesota — 20.26%
  20. Wyoming — 20.05%
  21. Virginia — 20.03%
  22. Pennsylvania — 19.94%
  23. North Carolina — 19.71%
  24. Indiana — 19.57%
  25. Maine — 19.01%
  26. Texas — 18.91%
  27. South Dakota — 18.63%
  28. Hawaii — 18.61%
  29. Ohio — 18.11%
  30. Nebraska — 17.73%
  31. Alabama — 17.41%
  32. Alaska — 16.52%
  33. Missouri — 15.48%
  34. Kansas — 15.27%
  35. Iowa — 15.23%
  36. Washington — 14.71%
  37. California — 13.91%
  38. Mississippi — 13.32%
  39. Louisiana — 13.27%
  40. Illinois — 13.05%
  41. West Virginia — 13.03%
  42. Colorado — 12.38%
  43. Nevada — 12.20%
  44. Idaho — 12.19%
  45. Oklahoma — 12.16%
  46. Kentucky — 11.20%
  47. Oregon — 10.83%
  48. Montana — 10.11%
  49. Arkansas — 9.09%
  50. Arizona — 9.08%
  51. New Mexico — 8.50%

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