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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 17,197 31.83% 24,175 38.25%
Spanish 1,235 2.29% 1,713 2.71%
Other Indo-European* 106 0.20% 203 0.32%
Asian Language** 17 0.03% 54 0.09%
Other 35,478 65.66% 37,057 58.63%
Total Population Age 5+ 54,033 100.00% 63,202 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 476 27.79%
Other Indo-European* 38 18.72%
Asian Language** 5 9.26%
Other Language 14,762 39.84%
Total 15,281 24.18%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 291 23.56%
Other Indo-European* 33 31.13%
Asian Language** 17 100.00%
Other Language 17,933 50.55%
Total 18,274 33.82%

* "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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