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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 84,102 95.40% 89,556 95.13%
Spanish 1,493 1.69% 2,179 2.31%
Other Indo-European* 2,229 2.53% 2,058 2.19%
Asian Language** 261 0.30% 313 0.33%
Other 70 0.08% 39 0.04%
Total Population Age 5+ 88,155 100.00% 94,145 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 856 39.28%
Other Indo-European* 554 26.92%
Asian Language** 103 32.91%
Other Language 9 23.08%
Total 1,522 1.62%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 393 26.32%
Other Indo-European* 476 21.35%
Asian Language** 139 53.26%
Other Language 11 15.71%
Total 1,019 1.16%

* "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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