Yoruba and Igbo are among the top ten fastest-growing languages in the United States

Yoruba is one of the top ten fastest-growing languages in the United States
  • The U.S. Census Bureau has released a list of the top ten fastest-growing languages.
  • According to the latest statistics, Nigerian languages — Yoruba and Igbo — are leading the chart of languages spoken at home.

Yoruba and Igbo, two major Nigerian languages, have been ranked as some of the top ten fastest-growing languages in the United States.

This is is according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This list includes other languages from Africa like Swahili, other Central/Eastern/Southern African languages, Twi (a dialect spoken in Ghana), other Western African languages; and Amharic/Somali.

While African languages are on the rise, the statistics show that the number of people who speak English at home is going down. It dropped from 78.4% in 2016 to 78.1% last year.


This trend has been attributed to an increase in African immigrants. The share of immigrants from Africa has doubled every decade since 1970, according to a Pew Research Center report titled: ‘At least a million sub-Saharan Africans moved to Europe since 2010: Sub-Saharan migration to the United States also growing.’

Now, Africans make up 39% of the total foreign-born black population in the United States. As of 2017, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya were some of the top countries of origin for most of the migrants living in the states.

Asked why they left, high unemployment rates and low wage rates came up as the biggest reasons according to the Pew Research Center. Political instability and conflict were listed as the other reasons.


Yoruba in other countries

Outside the United States, you can find Yoruba-speaking communities in 

  • Australia 
  • Benin Republic
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Cuba
  • Liberia 
  • Sierra Leone
  • The Caribbean
  • The United Kingdom


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: