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Somerset 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 21,364 96.07% 22,595 95.78%
Spanish 430 1.93% 331 1.40%
Other Indo-European* 299 1.34% 291 1.23%
Asian Language** 64 0.29% 210 0.89%
Other 80 0.36% 163 0.69%
Total Population Age 5+ 22,237 100.00% 23,590 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 147 44.41%
Other Indo-European* 103 35.40%
Asian Language** 74 35.24%
Other Language 9 5.52%
Total 333 1.41%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 150 34.88%
Other Indo-European* 70 23.41%
Asian Language** 30 46.88%
Other Language 38 47.50%
Total 288 1.30%

* "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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