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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 100,026 95.23% 115,107 95.20%
Spanish 1,767 1.68% 2,516 2.08%
Other Indo-European* 2,377 2.26% 2,067 1.71%
Asian Language** 216 0.21% 339 0.28%
Other 645 0.61% 883 0.73%
Total Population Age 5+ 105,031 100.00% 120,912 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 674 26.79%
Other Indo-European* 515 24.92%
Asian Language** 114 33.63%
Other Language 230 26.05%
Total 1,533 1.27%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 680 38.48%
Other Indo-European* 632 26.59%
Asian Language** 75 34.72%
Other Language 192 29.77%
Total 1,579 1.50%

* "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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