If you had to guess what New Jersey’s 3rd most common language is (after English and Spanish), would you think Portuguese? There’s a huge Portuguese section of Newark. Would you guess Arabic? Or Polish? Those languages along with French, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian and Japanese are all made available by NJ Motor Vehicle Commission for the written driver’s exam so you would certainly think there’d be a high population.

All those guesses would be wrong. The 3rd most commonly spoken language in New Jersey is one you may never heard of.

Gujarati.

Sounds like a high performance car, right? It’s the language of the western state of Gujarat in western India. According to Business Insider, which ran an article on the most common language after English and Spanish in each of our fifty states, there are 55 million people speaking Gujarati in India. Yet that still accounts for less than 5% of India’s population.

Here in New Jersey more than 110,000 people speak Gujarati. That’s more than any other state. It’s such a fast growing population that the Division of Election’s site now publishes candidate and issues information in Gujarati.

By the way, if you’re thinking you don’t know of any Gujarati people perhaps you’ve heard of Mahatma Gandhi? Now you know.

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