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Decatur 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 23,019 97.58% 24,809 95.27%
Spanish 318 1.35% 1,007 3.87%
Other Indo-European* 201 0.85% 169 0.65%
Asian Language** 44 0.19% 28 0.11%
Other 8 0.03% 29 0.11%
Total Population Age 5+ 23,590 100.00% 26,042 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 480 47.67%
Other Indo-European* 105 62.13%
Asian Language** 22 78.57%
Other Language 8 27.59%
Total 615 2.36%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 238 74.84%
Other Indo-European* 106 52.74%
Asian Language** 20 45.45%
Other Language 8 100.00%
Total 372 1.58%

* "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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