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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 79,361 97.73% 103,357 96.36%
Spanish 841 1.04% 2,389 2.23%
Other Indo-European* 753 0.93% 922 0.86%
Asian Language** 209 0.26% 415 0.39%
Other 44 0.05% 182 0.17%
Total Population Age 5+ 81,208 100.00% 107,265 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 863 36.12%
Other Indo-European* 194 21.04%
Asian Language** 173 41.69%
Other Language 28 15.38%
Total 1,258 1.17%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 370 44.00%
Other Indo-European* 210 27.89%
Asian Language** 73 34.93%
Other Language 14 31.82%
Total 667 0.82%

* "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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