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Ionia 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 51,126 97.24% 54,963 95.90%
Spanish 777 1.48% 1,485 2.59%
Other Indo-European* 594 1.13% 636 1.11%
Asian Language** 71 0.14% 137 0.24%
Other 8 0.02% 89 0.16%
Total Population Age 5+ 52,576 100.00% 57,310 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 491 33.06%
Other Indo-European* 111 17.45%
Asian Language** 65 47.45%
Other Language 30 33.71%
Total 697 1.22%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 335 43.11%
Other Indo-European* 133 22.39%
Asian Language** 22 30.99%
Other Language 1 12.50%
Total 491 0.93%

* "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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