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The Census asks questions about language use at home to locate groups of people who speak a language other than English. Their isolation or integration into a primarily English speaking community can be determined by their ability to speak English proficiently.

Language Spoken at Home, 1990-2000
1990 2000
Number Percent Number Percent
Only English 969,120 82.33% 1,083,041 71.21%
Spanish 94,446 8.02% 248,207 16.32%
Other Indo-European* 96,667 8.21% 157,417 10.35%
Asian Language** 8,335 0.71% 18,530 1.22%
Other 8,480 0.72% 13,647 0.90%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,177,048 100.00% 1,520,842 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 99,358 40.03%
Other Indo-European* 61,592 39.13%
Asian Language** 8,632 46.58%
Other Language 3,743 27.43%
Total 173,325 11.40%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 37,810 40.03%
Other Indo-European* 35,860 37.10%
Asian Language** 4,456 53.46%
Other Language 2,568 30.28%
Total 80,694 6.86%

* "Other Indo-European" excludes English and Spanish. "Indo-European" is not synonymous with "European." French, German, Hindi, and Persian are all classified as Indo-European. Hungarian, on the other hand, is lumped into "Other Language."

** "Asian Language" includes languages indigenous to Asia and Pacific islands areas that are not also Indo-European languages. Chinese, Japanese, Telugu, and Hawaiian are all classified here.

Also note that ability to speak English "very well" is based on the self-assessment of those responding to Census questions, not on a test of language ability.

Source: Census 2000 analyzed by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN).

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