Albany County

LANGUAGE

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 249,914 91.18% 250,439 90.08%
Spanish 4,878 1.78% 7,507 2.70%
Other Indo-European* 15,339 5.60% 13,715 4.93%
Asian Language** 2,815 1.03% 4,549 1.64%
Other 1,148 0.42% 1,808 0.65%
Total Population Age 5+ 274,094 100.00% 278,018 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,297 30.60%
Other Indo-European* 4,275 31.17%
Asian Language** 2,028 44.58%
Other Language 576 31.86%
Total 9,176 3.30%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,398 28.66%
Other Indo-European* 4,959 32.33%
Asian Language** 1,222 43.41%
Other Language 243 21.17%
Total 7,822 2.85%

* "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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