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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 76,865 97.27% 86,302 96.07%
Spanish 921 1.17% 1,862 2.07%
Other Indo-European* 778 0.98% 1,098 1.22%
Asian Language** 403 0.51% 508 0.57%
Other 59 0.07% 65 0.07%
Total Population Age 5+ 79,026 100.00% 89,835 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 819 43.98%
Other Indo-European* 357 32.51%
Asian Language** 187 36.81%
Other Language 12 18.46%
Total 1,375 1.53%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 397 43.11%
Other Indo-European* 337 43.32%
Asian Language** 212 52.61%
Other Language 14 23.73%
Total 960 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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