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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 160,697 93.54% 200,820 91.14%
Spanish 5,978 3.48% 11,861 5.38%
Other Indo-European* 3,509 2.04% 3,542 1.61%
Asian Language** 1,376 0.80% 3,611 1.64%
Other 232 0.14% 499 0.23%
Total Population Age 5+ 171,792 100.00% 220,333 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4,761 40.14%
Other Indo-European* 731 20.64%
Asian Language** 1,900 52.62%
Other Language 83 16.63%
Total 7,475 3.39%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,348 39.28%
Other Indo-European* 902 25.71%
Asian Language** 901 65.48%
Other Language 61 26.29%
Total 4,212 2.45%

* "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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