Translated's Research Center

United States

North America

To which language should you translate to localize in the United States?

What we know from our community

English is the most common language spoken in the United States, with approximately 239 million
speakers. However, there are actually between 350 and 430 languages spoken there, making it one of
the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. The federal government has never declared an
official language, but some state governments have adopted English as their official language, with
varying policies for other languages. There are roughly 30 different major dialects in America; for
example, people living in the southwest will not refer to a carbonated beverage using the same word as
those from the south or east coast. Americans also have drastically different accents depending on
which part of the country they come from.
After English, Spanish is spoken by over 40 million people in the USA, with some regions carrying a high
percentage of this number: just consider, 42% of the population in Los Angeles are native Spanish
speakers.
The United States is a vast territory abounding with opportunities for companies abroad. They should
make sure to localize their content for specific areas, considering other languages depending on these
targets.

Now, if you need others information about that country to make your decision, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data


Introduction


Language

Official language
English 76.5%

Other languages
Spanish 13.5%

T-index
31.4%

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Demography

Capital: Washington D.C.
Currency: US dollar
Population: 329.5 million 
Population density: 36.019/km2

Economy

GDP: 20,937 trillion USD (2020)
GDP per capita: 67,426.84USD ‎(2020) ‎
Exports: $1.34 trillion (2020)

Statistics

Internet users: 92% penetration, 307.2 million
Unemployment rate: 11% ( 2020)
Urbanisation: 77.38% (2019)
Literacy: 99% (2018)

Conventions

Numbering system
Arabic numerals with dot as decimal separator

Date format: mm-dd-yyyy
Time: 12h time system (a.m./p.m.)
Country code: 001


Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal


The new 2021 T-index

The new 2021 T-index

Reach most of the online purchasing power

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

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Facts and data


Economy

Imports
$2.24 trillion (2020). Refined Petroleum ($84.9B), Crude Petroleum ($61.9B) Cars ($56.9B), Integrated Circuits ($41.4B), and Vehicle Parts ($41.2B), exporting mostly to Canada ($25B), Mexico ($235B), China ($103B), Japan ($70.1B), and Germany ($59.8B).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 93% have an account with a financial institution
• 66% have a credit card
• 77% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
It is very easy to conduct business (rated 84.0 out of 100) ranked th out of 44 countries among OECD high income ranked 8th out of 190 countries worldwide (2019, World Bank)

Exports
$1.34 trillion (2020). Refined Petroleum ($58.4B), Crude Petroleum ($52.3B), Cars ($47.6B), Integrated Circuits ($44.2B), and Petroleum Gas ($34.7B), exporting mostly to Canada ($218B), Mexico ($196B), China ($122B), Japan ($63.1B), and Germany ($59.2B).

Main local online stores
Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Apple.com, Homedepot.com, Bestbuy.com, Target.com, Macys.com, Wayfair.com, Costco.com, Kohis.com

Economic freedom
‘Mostly free’ (76.8 out of 100) ranked 2nd out of 2 Northern American countries ranked 12th out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)

Global Innovation Index

Ranked 1st out of 2 Northern American countries, 3rd out of 132 worldwide.

The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.


Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal


Service Exports (2018)

Source: OEC


Service Imports (2018)

Source: OEC


Most specialised products by RCA Index

Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between the United States observed and expected exports in each product

Source: OEC


Most complex products by PCI Index

Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters

Source: OEC


Export Opportunities by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that United States is not specialized in

Source: OEC


Leading payment methods in the United States in 2018

Source: Worldpay


Most popular online stores in the United States in 2018, by e-commerce net sales

(in million U.S. dollar)

Source: ecommerceDB.com


Most popular mobile shopping apps in the United States as of September 2019, by reach

Source: Veroanalytics


Conversion rate of online shopping in the United States in 2019, by device

Source: Worldpay


Share of mobile device owners in the United States who have performed select mobile shopping activities via app in the past month as of December 2019

Source: Monetate


Media

Media language English

Information channels
The US has the most highly-developed mass media in the world. Its dramas, comedies, soap operas, animations, music videos and films have a global audience and are part of the staple fare of broadcasters worldwide. TV is America’s most popular medium. ABC, CBS and NBC held sector leadership for decades until the mass take-up of cable and satellite and the arrival of the Fox network. Fox News Channel is the dominant US cable news network. But viewing habits are changing and the proportion of consumed content accounted for by live broadcast TV is falling. The US leads the world in the adoption of over-the-top (OTT) video-on-demand, delivered by broadband internet. There are around 10,000 commercial radio stations. In cities, there are services to satisfy almost every taste. Subscription satellite radio offers hundreds of channels and has millions of customers. “The US has a free, diverse, and constitutionally protected press,” says Washington-based Freedom House (2019). It says President Donald Trump has been “harshly critical of the mainstream media, routinely using inflammatory language to accuse them of bias and mendacity”. The NGO says news coverage has become more polarised, with some outlets and well-known commentators “providing a consistently right- or left-leaning perspective”.

Public Broadcasting

Public broadcasting is partly government-funded, but also supported by private grants. Universities and colleges operate outlets. National Public Radio (NPR) – with hundreds of affiliate stations – offers news, debate and music without advertising. Public TV services operated by PBS have a mission to provide “quality” and educational programming. The government sponsors TV, radio and online outlets aimed at audiences outside the US, including in the former Soviet bloc, the Middle East and Asia, and Cuba. There are more than 1,000 daily newspapers in the US, most of them with a local or regional readership, but they have been hit by online competition. “The industry’s financial fortunes and subscriber base have been in decline since the mid-2000s, and website audience traffic, after some years of growth, has levelled off,” Pew Research Centre said in 2019. The US is the home of the internet. Nearly 293 million Americans are online (InternetWorldStats.com, December 2018), comprising 89% of the population. There are 230 million active social media users (We Are Social, 2019). YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are the leading platforms. Freedom House says internet access is unrestricted, but the leading social platforms have “struggled to control false or hateful material without harming freedom of expression or their own business interests”.

The press

USA Today – national daily
The Wall Street Journal – business daily
The Christian Science Monitor – church-owned daily
Los Angeles Times – daily
The Washington Post – daily
The Boston Globe – daily
New York Post – daily
The New York Times – daily
The Philadelphia Inquirer – daily
The Baltimore Sun – daily
Chicago Tribune – daily
Newsweek – news weekly
Time – news weekly
US News & World Report – news weekly

Television

ABC – major commercial network
CBS – major commercial network
NBC – major commercial network
Fox – major commercial network
CNN – pioneer of 24-hour rolling TV news, operates domestic and international streams
MTV – pioneer of music television
HBO (Home Box Office) – pay TV network; originator of some of American TV’s most critically–acclaimed programmes
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) – public TV, serves some 350 non-commercial member stations

Radio

NPR (National Public Radio) – non-commercial network of member stations; news, information and cultural programmes
iHeart Media – America’s largest commercial radio operator, owns more than 1,200 stations
Entercom – major commercial operator
Cumulus Media – major commercial operator

News agency

All Headline News
Associated Press
Bloomberg News
Catholic News Agency
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
United Press International



Media data source: BBC


Internet Data

Internet users
92% penetration, 307.2 million

Share of web traffic by device
53.9% mobile phones, 41.3% computers (laptops and desktops), 4.7% tablet devices, others 0.1%

Average speed of mobile Internet connection
41  Mbps

Average speed of fixed Internet connection
130.79 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 107%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 96%

Most popular web search engines
Google (88.3%), Bing (6.54%),Yahoo (3.51%), Duckduckgo (1.29%), Ecosia (0.13%), MSN(0.06%)

Most used social media
Facebook (42.08%), Twitter (25.69%), Pinterest (16.11%), Instagram (13.57%), YouTube (1.34%), Tumblr (0.5%)


Data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter


Social statistics

Life expectancy
78.54 yrs (2020)

Average age of the population
38.2 yrs (2020)

Glass Ceiling Index
58.5 out 100, ranked 29th out of 29 countries.

The glass-ceiling index measures the environment for working women combining data on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications, and representation in senior jobs.

Healthcare expenditure
17.7% of GDP (2018)

Average age of the population
45.7 yrs (2020)

Literacy
99%

Urbanisation
82.26% (2018)


Number of U.S. population in 2019, by educational attainment

(population in 1,000s)

Source: US census Bureau


Household food insecurity

Source: Urban Institute


Average cost to attend university per year in the United States from the academic year 2000/1 to 2017/18

(in U.S. dollar)

Source: Institute for College Access & Success

Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF


Where do American students have the highest debt?

Average students debt per borrower in selected U.S. states in the first decade of the 20th century

Source: US Department of Education


The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at imminent@translated.com


Languages research


Most common languages spoken a home other than English or Spanish

Legend

  • German

  • Vietnamese

  • Chinese

  • Navajo

  • Korean

  • Nepal

  • Dakota/Lakota/Nakota/Sioux

  • Somali

  • Arabic

  • French

  • Tagalog

  • Polish

  • Hmong

  • Pennsylvania Dutch

  • Portuguese

  • Haitian Creole

  • Gujarati

  • Aleut/Eskimo

  • Ilocano


Most commonly spoken languages other than English

Legend

  • Spanish

  • German

  • French

  • Yupik

  • Tagalog


The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to imminent.factbook@translated.com


Photo credit: Nirmal Rajendharkumar, Unsplash