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Polk County

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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 30,433 96.56% 32,688 92.14%
Spanish 747 2.37% 2,462 6.94%
Other Indo-European* 227 0.72% 245 0.69%
Asian Language** 103 0.33% 82 0.23%
Other 6 0.02% 0 0.00%
Total Population Age 5+ 31,516 100.00% 35,477 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,887 76.65%
Other Indo-European* 64 26.12%
Asian Language** 20 24.39%
Other Language 0 -
Total 1,971 5.56%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 242 32.40%
Other Indo-European* 106 46.70%
Asian Language** 33 32.04%
Other Language 0 -
Total 381 1.21%

* "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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