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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 175,643 94.40% 180,649 95.03%
Spanish 1,041 0.56% 2,449 1.29%
Other Indo-European* 4,997 2.69% 3,808 2.00%
Asian Language** 498 0.27% 931 0.49%
Other 3,878 2.08% 2,268 1.19%
Total Population Age 5+ 186,057 100.00% 190,105 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 774 31.60%
Other Indo-European* 842 22.11%
Asian Language** 372 39.96%
Other Language 447 19.71%
Total 2,435 1.28%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 273 26.22%
Other Indo-European* 1,016 20.33%
Asian Language** 275 55.22%
Other Language 790 20.37%
Total 2,354 1.27%

* "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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