Coles County

LANGUAGE

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 47,236 96.78% 48,336 95.94%
Spanish 559 1.15% 919 1.82%
Other Indo-European* 801 1.64% 890 1.77%
Asian Language** 162 0.33% 171 0.34%
Other 50 0.10% 66 0.13%
Total Population Age 5+ 48,808 100.00% 50,382 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 339 36.89%
Other Indo-European* 221 24.83%
Asian Language** 78 45.61%
Other Language 25 37.88%
Total 663 1.32%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 161 28.80%
Other Indo-European* 154 19.23%
Asian Language** 85 52.47%
Other Language 0 -
Total 400 0.82%

* "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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