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Essex County

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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 551,010 76.14% 517,923 70.32%
Spanish 78,604 10.86% 108,723 14.76%
Other Indo-European* 75,354 10.41% 79,843 10.84%
Asian Language** 12,782 1.77% 17,702 2.40%
Other 5,941 0.82% 12,345 1.68%
Total Population Age 5+ 723,691 100.00% 736,536 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 52,993 48.74%
Other Indo-European* 36,223 45.37%
Asian Language** 6,620 37.40%
Other Language 2,426 19.65%
Total 98,262 13.34%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 40,137 51.06%
Other Indo-European* 34,641 45.97%
Asian Language** 5,447 42.61%
Other Language 1,451 24.42%
Total 81,676 11.29%

* "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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