It is proved yet again that US is definitely the second home of our Telugu people. Walking down the streets of any US city, the chances of hearing someone yelling “Yera Bava!! Ela unnav?” are very high. With the ever increasing opportunities in US, the people from Telugu states fly there in large numbers regularly. American Community Survey has conducted a survey which was released in September saying that Telugu is the third most widely spoken Indian language in the US.
Hindi tops the list followed by Gujarati. Beating Tamil and Bengali, Telugu occupied the third position. Though Urdu with over 4,24,482 speakers stands at second place in Indian languages, the survey has included people from Pakistan. As per the census, 3.65 lakh people at age over five speak Telugu at home. That is about 0.12% of the US population over the age of five which is about 30.33 lakhs. The survey has not considered the origin of the person while counting the language-wise speakers so it is quite likely that the number for Urdu, Bengali and Tamil may include a good number of people residing outside India.
Since some reports recently stated that nearly 80,000 H1B Visas has been granted per year from the year 2001. And more than 50 per cent of these visas were granted to Telugu people. The Telugu community in US is not really happy with the numbers as they believe that the figures according to the survey are too low and opined that with such a large stream of Telugus coming in every year, the number will be quite higher than what the survey actually projected. The error might be due to people misreporting their language and simply returning the form scared of the racial discrimination they might face.
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