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Berkshire 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 121,405 92.92% 119,754 93.59%
Spanish 975 0.75% 2,053 1.60%
Other Indo-European* 7,383 5.65% 5,204 4.07%
Asian Language** 578 0.44% 675 0.53%
Other 309 0.24% 264 0.21%
Total Population Age 5+ 130,650 100.00% 127,950 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 653 31.81%
Other Indo-European* 1,333 25.61%
Asian Language** 229 33.93%
Other Language 81 30.68%
Total 2,296 1.79%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 326 33.44%
Other Indo-European* 2,082 28.20%
Asian Language** 263 45.50%
Other Language 81 26.21%
Total 2,752 2.11%

* "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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