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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 16,816 98.22% 17,441 96.70%
Spanish 79 0.46% 213 1.18%
Other Indo-European* 218 1.27% 367 2.03%
Asian Language** 7 0.04% 0 0.00%
Other 0 0.00% 15 0.08%
Total Population Age 5+ 17,120 100.00% 18,036 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 106 49.77%
Other Indo-European* 117 31.88%
Asian Language** 0 -
Other Language 2 13.33%
Total 225 1.25%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 12 15.19%
Other Indo-European* 110 50.46%
Asian Language** 2 28.57%
Other Language 0 -
Total 124 0.72%

* "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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