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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 238,795 95.65% 303,539 92.41%
Spanish 2,915 1.17% 8,499 2.59%
Other Indo-European* 5,506 2.21% 8,167 2.49%
Asian Language** 2,105 0.84% 6,277 1.91%
Other 326 0.13% 2,000 0.61%
Total Population Age 5+ 249,647 100.00% 328,482 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,382 39.79%
Other Indo-European* 2,452 30.02%
Asian Language** 3,133 49.91%
Other Language 691 34.55%
Total 9,658 2.94%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 951 32.62%
Other Indo-European* 1,499 27.22%
Asian Language** 1,073 50.97%
Other Language 29 8.90%
Total 3,552 1.42%

* "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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