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Polk 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 13,215 96.83% 16,302 94.08%
Spanish 132 0.97% 623 3.60%
Other Indo-European* 256 1.88% 360 2.08%
Asian Language** 17 0.12% 25 0.14%
Other 28 0.21% 18 0.10%
Total Population Age 5+ 13,648 100.00% 17,328 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 350 56.18%
Other Indo-European* 40 11.11%
Asian Language** 0 0.00%
Other Language 5 27.78%
Total 395 2.28%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 61 46.21%
Other Indo-European* 27 10.55%
Asian Language** 5 29.41%
Other Language 16 57.14%
Total 109 0.80%

* "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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