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Suffolk County

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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 1,074,298 87.41% 1,094,244 82.94%
Spanish 62,919 5.12% 115,677 8.77%
Other Indo-European* 75,666 6.16% 83,773 6.35%
Asian Language** 12,147 0.99% 19,981 1.51%
Other 4,060 0.33% 5,702 0.43%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,229,090 100.00% 1,319,377 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 53,958 46.65%
Other Indo-European* 24,414 29.14%
Asian Language** 8,679 43.44%
Other Language 1,389 24.36%
Total 88,440 6.70%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 25,711 40.86%
Other Indo-European* 21,996 29.07%
Asian Language** 5,839 48.07%
Other Language 1,077 26.53%
Total 54,623 4.44%

* "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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