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North Dakota

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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 543,942 92.06% 565,130 93.70%
Spanish 4,296 0.73% 8,263 1.37%
Other Indo-European* 37,423 6.33% 24,191 4.01%
Asian Language** 1,812 0.31% 1,933 0.32%
Other 3,366 0.57% 3,589 0.60%
Total Population Age 5+ 590,839 100.00% 603,106 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,762 33.43%
Other Indo-European* 6,670 27.57%
Asian Language** 696 36.01%
Other Language 875 24.38%
Total 11,003 1.82%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,052 24.49%
Other Indo-European* 8,965 23.96%
Asian Language** 820 45.25%
Other Language 826 24.54%
Total 11,663 1.97%

* "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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