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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 388,536 93.86% 481,572 85.30%
Spanish 9,652 2.33% 44,531 7.89%
Other Indo-European* 9,057 2.19% 20,749 3.68%
Asian Language** 4,952 1.20% 11,863 2.10%
Other 1,758 0.42% 5,859 1.04%
Total Population Age 5+ 413,955 100.00% 564,574 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 25,833 58.01%
Other Indo-European* 6,510 31.38%
Asian Language** 5,790 48.81%
Other Language 1,388 23.69%
Total 39,521 7.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,335 34.55%
Other Indo-European* 2,151 23.75%
Asian Language** 2,972 60.02%
Other Language 297 16.89%
Total 8,755 2.11%

* "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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