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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 9,517,064 94.57% 9,951,475 93.88%
Spanish 139,194 1.38% 213,147 2.01%
Other Indo-European* 310,850 3.09% 296,816 2.80%
Asian Language** 54,595 0.54% 84,658 0.80%
Other 41,509 0.41% 53,872 0.51%
Total Population Age 5+ 10,063,212 100.00% 10,599,968 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 77,394 36.31%
Other Indo-European* 99,316 33.46%
Asian Language** 40,574 47.93%
Other Language 17,175 31.88%
Total 234,459 2.21%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 48,080 34.54%
Other Indo-European* 102,498 32.97%
Asian Language** 27,008 49.47%
Other Language 12,279 29.58%
Total 189,865 1.89%

* "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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