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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 16,320 95.83% 17,945 96.62%
Spanish 85 0.50% 266 1.43%
Other Indo-European* 605 3.55% 298 1.60%
Asian Language** 13 0.08% 44 0.24%
Other 7 0.04% 19 0.10%
Total Population Age 5+ 17,030 100.00% 18,572 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 95 35.71%
Other Indo-European* 47 15.77%
Asian Language** 23 52.27%
Other Language 5 26.32%
Total 170 0.92%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 32 37.65%
Other Indo-European* 118 19.50%
Asian Language** 0 -
Other Language 2 28.57%
Total 152 0.89%

* "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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