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Catawba 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 107,468 97.05% 119,787 90.53%
Spanish 1,467 1.32% 7,603 5.75%
Other Indo-European* 1,146 1.03% 1,728 1.31%
Asian Language** 584 0.53% 3,135 2.37%
Other 73 0.07% 65 0.05%
Total Population Age 5+ 110,738 100.00% 132,318 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4,892 64.34%
Other Indo-European* 606 35.07%
Asian Language** 1,820 58.05%
Other Language 14 21.54%
Total 7,332 5.54%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 603 41.10%
Other Indo-European* 393 34.29%
Asian Language** 310 53.08%
Other Language 39 53.42%
Total 1,345 1.21%

* "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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