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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 52,103 94.71% 55,648 96.58%
Spanish 1,288 2.34% 794 1.38%
Other Indo-European* 1,482 2.69% 965 1.67%
Asian Language** 47 0.09% 132 0.23%
Other 92 0.17% 80 0.14%
Total Population Age 5+ 55,012 100.00% 57,619 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 358 45.09%
Other Indo-European* 208 21.55%
Asian Language** 66 50.00%
Other Language 15 18.75%
Total 647 1.12%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 543 42.16%
Other Indo-European* 370 24.97%
Asian Language** 27 57.45%
Other Language 14 15.22%
Total 954 1.73%

* "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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