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McHenry 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 155,941 93.14% 213,070 89.11%
Spanish 4,899 2.93% 15,248 6.38%
Other Indo-European* 5,752 3.44% 8,762 3.66%
Asian Language** 534 0.32% 1,674 0.70%
Other 307 0.18% 356 0.15%
Total Population Age 5+ 167,433 100.00% 239,110 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 8,456 55.46%
Other Indo-European* 2,320 26.48%
Asian Language** 570 34.05%
Other Language 117 32.87%
Total 11,463 4.79%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,500 51.03%
Other Indo-European* 1,801 31.31%
Asian Language** 166 31.09%
Other Language 151 49.19%
Total 4,618 2.76%

* "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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