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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 82,622 93.17% 99,035 88.07%
Spanish 1,734 1.96% 5,880 5.23%
Other Indo-European* 2,141 2.41% 3,512 3.12%
Asian Language** 1,530 1.73% 3,336 2.97%
Other 648 0.73% 681 0.61%
Total Population Age 5+ 88,675 100.00% 112,444 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,858 48.61%
Other Indo-European* 593 16.88%
Asian Language** 1,644 49.28%
Other Language 94 13.80%
Total 5,189 4.61%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 601 34.66%
Other Indo-European* 464 21.67%
Asian Language** 768 50.20%
Other Language 145 22.38%
Total 1,978 2.23%

* "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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