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Rensselaer 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 133,500 92.98% 133,070 92.90%
Spanish 1,718 1.20% 2,818 1.97%
Other Indo-European* 6,528 4.55% 5,136 3.59%
Asian Language** 1,402 0.98% 1,680 1.17%
Other 428 0.30% 530 0.37%
Total Population Age 5+ 143,576 100.00% 143,234 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 883 31.33%
Other Indo-European* 1,225 23.85%
Asian Language** 1,049 62.44%
Other Language 226 42.64%
Total 3,383 2.36%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 589 34.28%
Other Indo-European* 1,858 28.46%
Asian Language** 788 56.21%
Other Language 240 56.07%
Total 3,475 2.42%

* "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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