Georgia ranks as one of the nation’s slowest-talking states

February 19, 2023
1 min read
Georgia ranks as one of the nation's slowest-talking states

Georgia has been named as one of the top 10 slowest-talking states in America, according to a new report by language learning platform Preply.

The report analyzed data from two nationally conducted studies to rank each of the 50 states based on their speech rates, with Georgia coming in at number five. The study found that Georgians speak an average of 4.89 syllables per second, compared to the national average of 5.09 syllables per second.

Louisiana took the top spot as the slowest-talking state in the chart, averaging 4.78 syllables per second. South Carolina came in a close second, with an average speech rate of 4.80 syllables per second, while Mississippi took third place at 4.82 syllables per second.

The report also found that the Southeast and the Southwest are the only regions in the United States that are not included among the states with the fastest speakers, aligning with the typical characterization of southerners as slow talkers. The slowest-talking states are primarily located in the Southeast, with seven states, including Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and North Carolina, making the list. The Southwest consists of two states, New Mexico and Texas, on the list of slowest talkers.

Interestingly, the study also found that New Yorkers are not the fastest talkers in the nation, but instead talk the most, not the fastest. The fastest-talking state is Minnesota, at 5.34 syllables per second. 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.

The report combined data from Steven Coat’s study on articulation rate by analyzing caption files from YouTube videos and Marchex Call DNA Technology’s analysis on speech rate on more than four million phone calls to determine cities with the fastest speech rate. The study analyzed 114 cities in total, and found that the fastest talkers in the nation live in Minnesota, while the slowest speakers are from Louisiana.

According to Amy Pritchett, Language Science, and Data Analyst at Preply, “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 findings hew to cultural stereotypes that the slowest-talkers are in the South.”

To view the full report and see how speech patterns compare across the nation, visit the Preply website.

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