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New Hanover 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 108,755 96.37% 142,934 94.61%
Spanish 1,550 1.37% 4,200 2.78%
Other Indo-European* 2,128 1.89% 2,684 1.78%
Asian Language** 284 0.25% 901 0.60%
Other 133 0.12% 354 0.23%
Total Population Age 5+ 112,850 100.00% 151,073 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,763 41.98%
Other Indo-European* 531 19.78%
Asian Language** 417 46.28%
Other Language 127 35.88%
Total 2,838 1.88%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 558 36.00%
Other Indo-European* 615 28.90%
Asian Language** 104 36.62%
Other Language 23 17.29%
Total 1,300 1.15%

* "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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