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Languages in Durham

©JMunné_Welcome bannerOur community is rich in language diversity. Durham has grown from a population of 6,679 in 1900 to a population of 288,133 in 2013. During this growth, the diversity of the population living in Durham has also changed.

Community members and Duke students and faculty have collaborated on creating this website to provide educational resources to various language communities contributing to the growth of Durham. Read a brief history of the different populations and see stories of entrepreneurs, artists, community leaders, religious groups, and non-profit organizations that have helped Durham grow.

 Quick Facts about Language Communities in Durham

Durham County Language Statistics:

  • 80.6% of residents above 5 years old speak only English at home.
  • 19.4% speak a language other than English at home

Number of Speakers by Language:

  • ©JMunné_American Tobacco Campus entrance32,007: Spanish or Spanish Creole
  • 6,903: Other Indo-European Languages
    (German, French, Italian, Portuguese,
    Russian, Polish, Hindi, etc.)
  • 7,781: Asian and Pacific Island Languages
    (Chinese, Korean, Japanese,
    Vietnamese, Tagalog, etc.)
  • 2,971: Other Languages
    (Arabic, African languages, native North American langauges, indigenous languages of Central and South America, etc.)

Of our foreign born population the following world regions are represented:

  • Europe (2,960)
  • Asia (9,667)
  • Africa (2,877)
  • ©JMunné_Main StreetOceania (192)
  • Latin America (20,800)
  • Northern America (1, 017)


2012 American Community Survey 
Language Use in the US 2011

Contact Us:

Phone: 919-684-0774