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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 110,682 97.29% 134,858 95.80%
Spanish 1,130 0.99% 2,154 1.53%
Other Indo-European* 1,641 1.44% 3,038 2.16%
Asian Language** 206 0.18% 483 0.34%
Other 101 0.09% 243 0.17%
Total Population Age 5+ 113,760 100.00% 140,776 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 648 30.08%
Other Indo-European* 811 26.70%
Asian Language** 241 49.90%
Other Language 37 15.23%
Total 1,737 1.23%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 370 32.74%
Other Indo-European* 450 27.42%
Asian Language** 81 39.32%
Other Language 36 35.64%
Total 937 0.82%

* "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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