North Carolina

Legal Status of official English in North Carolina

North Carolina adopted English as its official language via legislation in 1987.

Official English Law of North Carolina

§ 145‑12. State language.

  • (a) Purpose.  English is the common language of the people of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina.  This section is intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the English language, and not to supersede any of the rights guaranteed to the people by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of North Carolina.
  • (b) English as the Official Language of North Carolina.  English is the official language of the State of North Carolina.


6,909,648 English
603,517 All languages other than English combined
378,942 Spanish or Spanish Creole
33,201 French (incl. Patois, Cajun)
28,520 German
15,698 Chinese
13,594 Vietnamese
11,386 Korean
10,834 Arabic
9,181 African languages
7,493 Miao, Hmong
6,521 Tagalog
6,404 Greek
6,317 Japanese
6,233 Italian
5,725 Gujarathi
4,599 Laotian
4,153 Hindi
4,109 Russian
3,361 Mon-Khmer, Cambodian
3,208 Urdu
3,171 Portuguese or Portuguese Creole
2,965 Polish
2,766 Scandinavian languages
2,432 Persian
2,093 Other Native North American languages
2,019 Thai
1,918 Serbo-Croatian
1,441 French Creole
1,321 Hebrew
1,041 Hungarian
467 Yiddish
221 Navajo
117 Armenian