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Polk 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 28,024 92.97% 27,057 91.86%
Spanish 746 2.47% 1,204 4.09%
Other Indo-European* 1,286 4.27% 1,006 3.42%
Asian Language** 40 0.13% 111 0.38%
Other 47 0.16% 78 0.26%
Total Population Age 5+ 30,143 100.00% 29,456 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 302 25.08%
Other Indo-European* 226 22.47%
Asian Language** 73 65.77%
Other Language 25 32.05%
Total 626 2.13%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 264 35.39%
Other Indo-European* 246 19.13%
Asian Language** 27 67.50%
Other Language 13 27.66%
Total 550 1.82%

* "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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