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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 21,240 98.01% 21,980 92.80%
Spanish 203 0.94% 1,323 5.59%
Other Indo-European* 163 0.75% 282 1.19%
Asian Language** 50 0.23% 76 0.32%
Other 16 0.07% 25 0.11%
Total Population Age 5+ 21,672 100.00% 23,686 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 765 57.82%
Other Indo-European* 66 23.40%
Asian Language** 54 71.05%
Other Language 12 48.00%
Total 897 3.79%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 87 42.86%
Other Indo-European* 30 18.40%
Asian Language** 15 30.00%
Other Language 0 -
Total 132 0.61%

* "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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