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Van Buren 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 6,796 95.33% 6,995 94.78%
Spanish 57 0.80% 47 0.64%
Other Indo-European* 276 3.87% 328 4.44%
Asian Language** 0 0.00% 10 0.14%
Other 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Total Population Age 5+ 7,129 100.00% 7,380 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 14 29.79%
Other Indo-European* 147 44.82%
Asian Language** 0 0.00%
Other Language 0 -
Total 161 2.18%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4 7.02%
Other Indo-European* 93 33.70%
Asian Language** 0 -
Other Language 0 -
Total 97 1.36%

* "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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