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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 23,961 88.40% 21,979 86.64%
Spanish 1,239 4.57% 1,549 6.11%
Other Indo-European* 1,047 3.86% 1,093 4.31%
Asian Language** 816 3.01% 704 2.78%
Other 43 0.16% 42 0.17%
Total Population Age 5+ 27,106 100.00% 25,367 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 554 35.77%
Other Indo-European* 221 20.22%
Asian Language** 410 58.24%
Other Language 7 16.67%
Total 1,192 4.70%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 412 33.25%
Other Indo-European* 290 27.70%
Asian Language** 407 49.88%
Other Language 11 25.58%
Total 1,120 4.13%

* "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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