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Cortland 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 43,622 95.88% 43,692 95.57%
Spanish 444 0.98% 629 1.38%
Other Indo-European* 1,308 2.88% 1,269 2.78%
Asian Language** 96 0.21% 60 0.13%
Other 25 0.05% 68 0.15%
Total Population Age 5+ 45,495 100.00% 45,718 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 236 37.52%
Other Indo-European* 409 32.23%
Asian Language** 19 31.67%
Other Language 1 1.47%
Total 665 1.45%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 151 34.01%
Other Indo-European* 398 30.43%
Asian Language** 39 40.63%
Other Language 2 8.00%
Total 590 1.30%

* "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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