Kalamazoo County

LANGUAGE

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 196,086 94.67% 208,262 93.30%
Spanish 3,121 1.51% 6,262 2.81%
Other Indo-European* 5,442 2.63% 5,157 2.31%
Asian Language** 1,689 0.82% 2,580 1.16%
Other 780 0.38% 967 0.43%
Total Population Age 5+ 207,118 100.00% 223,228 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,187 34.92%
Other Indo-European* 1,372 26.60%
Asian Language** 1,155 44.77%
Other Language 229 23.68%
Total 4,943 2.21%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,291 41.36%
Other Indo-European* 1,542 28.34%
Asian Language** 850 50.33%
Other Language 225 28.85%
Total 3,908 1.89%

* "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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