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Orleans 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 36,768 94.88% 39,474 95.37%
Spanish 1,001 2.58% 1,210 2.92%
Other Indo-European* 846 2.18% 597 1.44%
Asian Language** 118 0.30% 50 0.12%
Other 21 0.05% 58 0.14%
Total Population Age 5+ 38,754 100.00% 41,389 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 478 39.50%
Other Indo-European* 142 23.79%
Asian Language** 27 54.00%
Other Language 11 18.97%
Total 658 1.59%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 490 48.95%
Other Indo-European* 192 22.70%
Asian Language** 33 27.97%
Other Language 19 90.48%
Total 734 1.89%

* "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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