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Durham 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 159,370 94.35% 179,173 86.14%
Spanish 3,023 1.79% 17,068 8.21%
Other Indo-European* 3,667 2.17% 6,099 2.93%
Asian Language** 2,048 1.21% 3,985 1.92%
Other 804 0.48% 1,669 0.80%
Total Population Age 5+ 168,912 100.00% 207,994 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 11,043 64.70%
Other Indo-European* 1,502 24.63%
Asian Language** 1,306 32.77%
Other Language 417 24.99%
Total 14,268 6.86%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,017 33.64%
Other Indo-European* 962 26.23%
Asian Language** 994 48.54%
Other Language 194 24.13%
Total 3,167 1.87%

* "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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