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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 13,956 91.38% 13,538 73.68%
Spanish 1,100 7.20% 4,529 24.65%
Other Indo-European* 198 1.30% 147 0.80%
Asian Language** 12 0.08% 125 0.68%
Other 7 0.05% 35 0.19%
Total Population Age 5+ 15,273 100.00% 18,374 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,515 55.53%
Other Indo-European* 72 48.98%
Asian Language** 41 32.80%
Other Language 27 77.14%
Total 2,655 14.45%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 298 27.09%
Other Indo-European* 69 34.85%
Asian Language** 10 83.33%
Other Language 0 -
Total 377 2.47%

* "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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