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Tompkins 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 78,960 88.88% 79,467 86.10%
Spanish 1,707 1.92% 2,628 2.85%
Other Indo-European* 4,146 4.67% 4,287 4.64%
Asian Language** 3,424 3.85% 5,230 5.67%
Other 598 0.67% 688 0.75%
Total Population Age 5+ 88,835 100.00% 92,300 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 586 22.30%
Other Indo-European* 897 20.92%
Asian Language** 2,225 42.54%
Other Language 94 13.66%
Total 3,802 4.12%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 360 21.09%
Other Indo-European* 751 18.11%
Asian Language** 1,270 37.09%
Other Language 149 24.92%
Total 2,530 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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