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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 111,499 94.59% 130,288 93.59%
Spanish 2,191 1.86% 3,542 2.54%
Other Indo-European* 2,384 2.02% 3,009 2.16%
Asian Language** 1,405 1.19% 1,893 1.36%
Other 401 0.34% 481 0.35%
Total Population Age 5+ 117,880 100.00% 139,213 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,262 35.63%
Other Indo-European* 702 23.33%
Asian Language** 878 46.38%
Other Language 114 23.70%
Total 2,956 2.12%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 723 33.00%
Other Indo-European* 487 20.43%
Asian Language** 656 46.69%
Other Language 136 33.92%
Total 2,002 1.70%

* "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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