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Buncombe 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 158,345 96.57% 183,265 94.08%
Spanish 2,200 1.34% 6,441 3.31%
Other Indo-European* 2,553 1.56% 3,493 1.79%
Asian Language** 602 0.37% 1,253 0.64%
Other 272 0.17% 339 0.17%
Total Population Age 5+ 163,972 100.00% 194,791 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,363 52.21%
Other Indo-European* 1,233 35.30%
Asian Language** 424 33.84%
Other Language 102 30.09%
Total 5,122 2.63%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 776 35.27%
Other Indo-European* 724 28.36%
Asian Language** 358 59.47%
Other Language 109 40.07%
Total 1,967 1.20%

* "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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