How Many Native American Languages Are There?

Updated: September 15, 2022
There are an estimated 300 Native American languages.
Detailed answer:

Native American languages are spoken throughout the United States, though some states have higher concentrations of speakers than others. In California, for example, there are an estimated 100 languages spoken by Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. Alaska has an estimated 60 Native American languages spoken by around 50,000 people. Utah has 40 languages spoken by around 27,000 people; New Mexico has 35 languages spoken by around 30,000 people; and Oklahoma has 30 languages spoken by around 50,000 people.

In addition to these states with relatively large numbers of Native American language speakers, there are also many places where there are only small pockets of survivors who continue in the traditions associated with their native language. For example, in Nebraska there are a few hundred speakers of Omaha-Ponca and Winnebago; in Kansas there are a few hundred Osage speakers; in Texas there are a few hundred Kickapoo speakers; and in California there are about 100 speakers each for Yurok and Wiyot.

There are also other areas where many more native languages were once spoken but have since become extinct or nearly so as a result of disease and cultural suppression during colonization. For example:

* Pomo-Bear River Shoshone: There was once an estimated 1 million.

How Many Native American Languages Are There?. (2022, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/how-many-native-american-languages-are-there/