Three women wearing elaborately designed headscarves stand together and look into the distance with pensive expressions.

CLI’s Language & Immigration Trends

We look at language trends all. the. time. And there are two things we know for sure: Spanish requests dominate and the top 10 requested languages rarely shift. It’s when you look down the list of 230+ languages we offer that things start to be a little more unpredictable (and interesting!).

With more than 350 languages spoken across the U.S. and an ever-shifting population enriched with communities of immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants, nothing is static.

To make sure we’re at the ready with interpreters in the languages you need, we keep our finger on the pulse of language and immigration trends across the country. And we’re here to share some glimpses into our monthly data insights. 

September 2022

In August, the largest influx of refugees (945!) came to the U.S. from Africa.

We tracked some of our largest monthly increases in language requests from languages spoken throughout Africa as well:

  • Hausa (spoken in Nigeria): 325%
  • Ewe (spoken in Togo): 213%
  • Cape Verde Creole (spoken in Cape Verde): 73%
A map showing the largest increases CLI had in requests from languages spoken in Africa during August 2022
A map showing the largest increases CLI had in requests from languages spoken in Africa during August 2022

August 2022

In July, the U.S. admitted a large influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) — 4 times more than the next highest country of origin.

Countries of origin for the highest U.S. admissions of refugees in July 2022

To support this growing refugee population (4,917 refugees so far in 2022!), we’re keeping close tabs on requests for the most common languages spoken in the DRC to make sure we have plenty of interpreters ready to take calls in Swahili, French, Lingala, Kikongo, and Sango.

Last month, the states with the largest resettlements of refugees from the DRC include:

  • Kentucky (129 refugees)
  • Ohio (106 refugees)
  • Texas (73 refugees)
  • North Carolina (72 refugees)

CLI also saw our highest increase in language requests for Georgian interpreters (spoken in Georgia, located in Eastern Europe) — a 144% increase in July compared to June.

July 2022

Rising Demand for African and Asian Languages

Looking at the number of interpreting sessions we handled for each language in June compared to May, we found particular increases in:

  • West & North African languages
    • 275% increase in Krio (spoken in Sierra Leone)
    • 66% increase in Moroccan Arabic (spoken in Morocco and Western Sahara)
    • 39% increase in Mandinka (spoken in The Gambia)
  • Southeast & Western Asian languages
    • 36% increase in Yemeni Arabic (spoken in Yemen)
    • 34% increase in Rohingya (spoken in Myanmar — coinciding with 1,129 new refugees from Myanmar admitted into the U.S. in the first 6 months of 2022)

Related: Check out the most commonly spoken languages in each country