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Chatham 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 190,379 95.22% 202,148 93.33%
Spanish 3,578 1.79% 6,533 3.02%
Other Indo-European* 3,920 1.96% 4,207 1.94%
Asian Language** 1,686 0.84% 2,923 1.35%
Other 364 0.18% 789 0.36%
Total Population Age 5+ 199,927 100.00% 216,600 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,611 39.97%
Other Indo-European* 1,158 27.53%
Asian Language** 1,767 60.45%
Other Language 137 17.36%
Total 5,673 2.62%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,150 32.14%
Other Indo-European* 1,078 27.50%
Asian Language** 803 47.63%
Other Language 44 12.09%
Total 3,075 1.54%

* "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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