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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 400,544 92.24% 390,561 91.14%
Spanish 6,546 1.51% 10,398 2.43%
Other Indo-European* 21,302 4.91% 18,480 4.31%
Asian Language** 4,058 0.93% 6,634 1.55%
Other 1,778 0.41% 2,449 0.57%
Total Population Age 5+ 434,228 100.00% 428,522 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,874 37.26%
Other Indo-European* 6,115 33.09%
Asian Language** 3,994 60.21%
Other Language 637 26.01%
Total 14,620 3.41%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,240 34.22%
Other Indo-European* 6,454 30.30%
Asian Language** 2,249 55.42%
Other Language 402 22.61%
Total 11,345 2.61%

* "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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