Orleans Parish

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 422,605 92.16% 414,214 91.69%
Spanish 16,632 3.63% 17,572 3.89%
Other Indo-European* 11,068 2.41% 10,113 2.24%
Asian Language** 7,334 1.60% 8,713 1.93%
Other 940 0.20% 1,127 0.25%
Total Population Age 5+ 458,579 100.00% 451,739 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 6,486 36.91%
Other Indo-European* 2,850 28.18%
Asian Language** 4,566 52.40%
Other Language 266 23.60%
Total 14,168 3.14%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 7,381 44.38%
Other Indo-European* 3,065 27.69%
Asian Language** 4,285 58.43%
Other Language 264 28.09%
Total 14,995 3.27%

* "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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