California Leads With Highest Telugu Speakers

Telugu-speaking students heading to the US this fall can expect a more familiar environment than ever before.

The Telugu-speaking population in America has seen a remarkable surge, jumping from 320,000 in 2016 to 1.23 million in 2024, according to a recent report.

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California leads with the largest Telugu-speaking population of nearly 200,000, followed closely by Texas with 150,000 and New Jersey with 110,000.

States like Illinois, Virginia, and Georgia also boast significant numbers, each showing a nearly four-fold rise in their Telugu-speaking communities.

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The growth is not just in numbers but also in influence, with Telugu now ranking as America’s 11th most-spoken language among 350 foreign languages.

This surge is fueled not only by immigration but also by students and H1B visa holders, with between 60,000 and 70,000 students arriving annually.

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80% of these newcomers settle in cities like Dallas, the Bay Area, and New Jersey.

Moving to Dallas feels like coming home. The presence of Telugu-speaking colleagues and communities helped me settle in quickly.

With AP and Telangana contributing the largest cohort of Indian students in the US, institutions like Kent State University are welcoming them with signs that say “Vidhyardhulaku Swagatham,” making students feel closer to home during their academic journeys.

The Telugu community’s growth underscores its deepening roots in American society, from business to IT, shaping cultural and social dynamics across the country.