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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 999,119 82.68% 959,465 76.84%
Spanish 63,699 5.27% 115,039 9.21%
Other Indo-European* 113,647 9.40% 124,652 9.98%
Asian Language** 22,627 1.87% 36,354 2.91%
Other 9,315 0.77% 13,166 1.05%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,208,407 100.00% 1,248,676 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 57,053 49.59%
Other Indo-European* 36,705 29.45%
Asian Language** 15,519 42.69%
Other Language 2,633 20.00%
Total 111,910 8.96%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 30,217 47.44%
Other Indo-European* 34,820 30.64%
Asian Language** 10,528 46.53%
Other Language 2,414 25.92%
Total 77,979 6.45%

* "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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