Languages of The United States - Official Language Status

Official Language Status

The United States does not have a national official language; nevertheless, English (specifically American English) is the primary language used for legislation, regulations, executive orders, treaties, federal court rulings, and all other official pronouncements; although there are laws requiring documents such as ballots to be printed in multiple languages when there are large numbers of non-English speakers in an area.

As part of what has been called the English-only movement, some states have adopted legislation granting official status to English. As of April 2011, out of 50 states, 28 had established English as the official language, including Hawaii where English and Hawaiian are both official.

Place English official Other language(s) Note Ref
Alabama Yes No since 1990
Alaska Yes No since 2007; 1998 law ruled unconstitutional
Arizona Yes No since 2006; 1988 law ruled unconstitutional
Arkansas Yes No since 1987
California Yes No since 1986
Colorado Yes No since 1988
Connecticut No No
Delaware No No
Florida Yes No since 1988
Georgia Yes No since 1996
Hawaii Yes Hawaiian since 1978
Idaho Yes No since 2007
Illinois Yes No since 1969; "American" official 1923-1969
Indiana Yes No since 1984
Iowa Yes No since 2002
Kansas Yes No since 2007
Kentucky Yes No since 1984
Louisiana No No
Maine No No
Maryland No No
Massachusetts No No
Michigan No No
Minnesota No No
Mississippi Yes No since 1987
Missouri No No
Montana Yes No since 1995
Nebraska Yes No since 1923
Nevada No No
New Hampshire Yes No since 1995
New Jersey No No
New Mexico No No Spanish has had special status since
1912 passage of state constitution
see article
New York No No
North Carolina Yes No since 1987
North Dakota Yes No since 1987
Ohio No No
Oklahoma Yes No since 2010
Oregon No No English Plus since 1989
Pennsylvania No No
Rhode Island No No English Plus since 1992
South Carolina Yes No since 1987
South Dakota Yes No since 1995
Tennessee Yes No since 1984
Texas No No
Utah Yes No since 2000
Vermont No No
Virginia Yes No since 1981
Washington No No English Plus since 1989
West Virginia No No
Wisconsin No No
Wyoming Yes No since 1996
American Samoa Yes Samoan
District of Columbia No No
Guam Yes Chamorro
Northern Mariana Islands Yes Chamorro, Carolinian
Puerto Rico Yes Spanish
U.S. Virgin Islands Yes No

Read more about this topic:  Languages Of The United States

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