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St. Joseph 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 51,962 95.73% 53,534 92.42%
Spanish 520 0.96% 2,150 3.71%
Other Indo-European* 1,482 2.73% 2,037 3.52%
Asian Language** 227 0.42% 167 0.29%
Other 91 0.17% 36 0.06%
Total Population Age 5+ 54,282 100.00% 57,924 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,278 59.44%
Other Indo-European* 767 37.65%
Asian Language** 79 47.31%
Other Language 24 66.67%
Total 2,148 3.71%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 195 37.50%
Other Indo-European* 519 35.02%
Asian Language** 74 32.60%
Other Language 25 27.47%
Total 813 1.50%

* "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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