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Penobscot 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 129,984 94.91% 130,938 95.44%
Spanish 952 0.70% 1,075 0.78%
Other Indo-European* 5,188 3.79% 4,267 3.11%
Asian Language** 642 0.47% 579 0.42%
Other 196 0.14% 331 0.24%
Total Population Age 5+ 136,962 100.00% 137,190 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 316 29.40%
Other Indo-European* 997 23.37%
Asian Language** 254 43.87%
Other Language 137 41.39%
Total 1,704 1.24%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 287 30.15%
Other Indo-European* 1,230 23.71%
Asian Language** 317 49.38%
Other Language 35 17.86%
Total 1,869 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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