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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 84,264 97.28% 89,771 97.11%
Spanish 760 0.88% 1,127 1.22%
Other Indo-European* 1,132 1.31% 944 1.02%
Asian Language** 430 0.50% 524 0.57%
Other 36 0.04% 78 0.08%
Total Population Age 5+ 86,622 100.00% 92,444 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 332 29.46%
Other Indo-European* 278 29.45%
Asian Language** 272 51.91%
Other Language 3 3.85%
Total 885 0.96%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 225 29.61%
Other Indo-European* 235 20.76%
Asian Language** 293 68.14%
Other Language 9 25.00%
Total 762 0.88%

* "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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