A survey conducted in US has ranked Telugu as the third most spoken Indian language in the country. However, Telugu people are not happy with the census as they claim Telugu language is more popular than what the census actually portrays.
Hindi and Gujarati take the Top 2 places in the list of most spoken Indian languages according to the American Community Survey. Telugu comes a close 3rd. The census was conducted in 2016 but the data was officially released in September 2017. Bengali and Tamil follow Telugu.
As per the survey, 3,65,566 people at over the age of five speak Telugu in US. This is about 0.12% of the US population over five. The American Community Survey also found Telugu as the 20th most spoken language in the US. Total number of speakers for all Indic and Dravidian languages is 35,51,455, of which Telugus are 3,65,566.
Many Telugu people in US opine that the numbers do not reflect the correct picture of the real situation. They argue that there must be an aberration in the census figures resulting from various factors such as people misreporting their language or simply not returning the census form.
“Starting from the year 2001, more than 50 per cent of the total H1B visas that US grants, have been granted for Telugu people. Hence, the total number of Telugu people residing in US will be nearly one million if we include their families,” said a Telugu NTR, asserting that the number presented by the census is too low.