Home News Louisiana tops the list of the 10 slowest-talking US states

Louisiana tops the list of the 10 slowest-talking US states

In a new report published this week, the language learning platform Preply revealed which US states have the slowest talkers and which are most talkative.

Louisiana is the slowest-talking state in the chart in America, averaging 4.78 syllables per second. Coming in at a close second is South Carolina, with an average speech rate of 4.80 syllables per second. Finally, Mississippi is in third place at 4.82 syllables per second.

According to Preply, Americans speak an average of 5 syllables per second. The difference isn’t huge, but it is noticeable: Preply determined that for every five words uttered by a person in a slow-talking state, a person in a fast-talking one can get out six.

Preply analyzed two nationally conducted studies. The first was Steven Coat’s study on articulation rate by analyzing caption files from YouTube videos. The second study Marchex Call DNA Technology’s analysis on speech rate on more than four million phone calls.

The Preply report analyzed data from both studies to rank each of the 50 states, with a rank of one being the fastest-talking and most talkative.

Key findings:

  • According to Preply, Americans speak an average of 5.09 syllables per second.
  • The Southeast and the Southwest are the only U.S. regions that aren’t included among the states with the fastest speakers, aligning with the typical characterization of southerners as slow talkers.
  • In particular, the Southeast is represented by 7 total states for the slowest talkers (i.e., Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and North Carolina).
  • The Southwest consists of 2 states for the slowest talkers (i.e., New Mexico and Texas). 
  • The fastest-talking state is Minnesota, at 5.34 syllables per second, and the slowest-talking state is Louisiana (4.78).
  • The U.S. region that appears most frequently in the ten fastest-talking states is the Midwest, including Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. 
  • Although many think of New Yorkers as motormouths who talk at lightning speed, research suggests this isn’t the case. Instead, New York residents speak the most, not the fastest.

The 10 fastest-talking states:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Oregon
  3. Iowa
  4. Kansas
  5. North Dakota
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New Hampshire
  8. South Dakota
  9. Nebraska
  10. Vermont

The 10 slowest-talking states:

  1. Louisiana
  2. South Carolina
  3. Mississippi
  4. Alabama
  5. Georgia
  6. New Mexico
  7. Arkansas
  8. North Carolina
  9. Texas
  10. Illinois

The 10 most talkative states:

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. New Jersey
  4. Nevada
  5. Maryland
  6. New Mexico
  7. South Carolina
  8. Texas
  9. North Carolina
  10. Arizona

The 10 least talkative states:

  1. Iowa
  2. Minnesota
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Kansas
  5. Oklahoma
  6. South Dakota
  7. North Dakota
  8. Alaska
  9. Montana
  10. Nebraska

Amy Pritchett, Language Science, and Data Analyst at Preply, says:

“The words people use say a lot about where they come from. We also found the speed and cadence of words reveal where you live.

Our report combined data from two nationally conducted studies to determine cities with the fastest speech rate. We were then able to rank each USA city based on the speed and density of their residents’ speaking.

Our findings suggest that the people that deliver the speediest soliloquies live in Minnesota, and the slowest speakers are from Louisiana. Our results hew to cultural stereotypes that the slowest-talkers are in the South. 

The U.S. region that appears most frequently in the ten fastest-talking states is the Midwest, including Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. However, although the Midwest talks the fastest, they also speak the least – making them concise during conversations.

Interestingly, although many think of New Yorkers as the fastest talkers in the nation, research suggests this isn’t the case. Instead, research suggests New York residents talk the most, not the fastest.”

Methodology:

To determine the cities with the fastest talkers, Preply analyzed two nationally conducted studies to rank 50 states and 114 cities in this report. Data is fr (1) Steven Coat’s study on articulation rate by analyzing caption files from YouTube videos and (2) Marchex Call DNA Technology’s study on speech rate on more than four million phone calls.

The goal of these studies was to take stock of the speech rate and patterns in different regions, big and small, across the United States. In addition, Preply wanted to take some of the data collected from these surveys to see how speech patterns compare across the nation.