Elkhart 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 131,238 91.81% 143,855 85.60%
Spanish 2,763 1.93% 13,886 8.26%
Other Indo-European* 8,101 5.67% 8,966 5.34%
Asian Language** 676 0.47% 1,148 0.68%
Other 169 0.12% 197 0.12%
Total Population Age 5+ 142,947 100.00% 168,052 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 8,524 61.39%
Other Indo-European* 3,234 36.07%
Asian Language** 646 56.27%
Other Language 96 48.73%
Total 12,500 7.44%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,110 40.17%
Other Indo-European* 3,130 38.64%
Asian Language** 440 65.09%
Other Language 46 27.22%
Total 4,726 3.31%

* "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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