Telugu, the fastest growing foreign language in the US

415,414 Telugu speakers live in the United States


October 5, 2018

/ By / Kolkata

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The Indian diaspora is one of the fastest increasing diasporas in the US

The Indian diaspora is one of the fastest increasing diasporas in the US

The Telugu community which consists of some of the brightest stars in the Indian diaspora, is migrating to the United States at the highest rate among other communities. The number of Telugu speakers according to reports has increased by 86 pc.

Among the approximate 2.8 million Indian people living in the US, one particular community from southern India is growing at an astronomical rate. A report conducted by the Centre for Immigration Studies in September 2018 found that the population of Telugu speakers has increased by 86 pc. This marks the largest surge in any foreign language group (that has over 400,000 members) living in the US. Compare this to other statistics such as the increase in Arabic and Hindi speakers and you will realise that both the mentioned groups have increased by 42 pc and they are the second and the third largest surges, respectively.

According to the same study, back in 2000, the number of Telugu speakers was 87,543. In 2010, the number had increased to 222,997. While according to the July 2017 figures, it is 415,414.

The Telugu speaking people are from the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which used to be a single entity till 2014 when the state was finally split in two. Hyderabad which is the capital of Telangana sends the largest number of engineers to the US from India. According to the results published by a Brookings Institution report, between 2008 and 2012, Hyderabad has sent over 26,000 students over to the US, most of whom are pursuing careers in mathematics, science, technology or engineering.

The brightest of the diaspora

Hyderabadi immigrant success stories include that of Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella and Adobe Systems CEO, Shantanu Narayen. In fact, these stories have fueled the ‘American Dream’ among the Telugu speaking youth that there are even temples like the Chilkur Balaji temple which claim that they can ensure US visas. Nina Davuluri, who became the first Indian-American woman to be crowned Miss America in 2013, also has telugu origins. Her parents are doctors from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh who immigrated to the US back in the late ‘80s. 13-year-old, Nihar Saireddy Janga – the winner of the Scripps Spelling Bee Competition is also another example of Telugu success.

Cultural assimilation has also been prevalent with community associations such as the California based University of Silicon Andhra, offering dance and music classes to impart their tradition, culture and arts. Even colleges like Emory University, Atlanta are introducing the study of Telugu art and culture as part of their curriculum.

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