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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 59,848 61.12% 80,375 54.49%
Spanish 35,900 36.66% 64,197 43.52%
Other Indo-European* 926 0.95% 1,277 0.87%
Asian Language** 718 0.73% 1,035 0.70%
Other 526 0.54% 614 0.42%
Total Population Age 5+ 97,918 100.00% 147,498 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 32,376 50.43%
Other Indo-European* 305 23.88%
Asian Language** 440 42.51%
Other Language 174 28.34%
Total 33,295 22.57%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 16,788 46.76%
Other Indo-European* 177 19.11%
Asian Language** 259 36.07%
Other Language 148 28.14%
Total 17,372 17.74%

* "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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