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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 152,975 94.46% 179,910 92.42%
Spanish 3,258 2.01% 6,137 3.15%
Other Indo-European* 2,306 1.42% 3,071 1.58%
Asian Language** 2,790 1.72% 4,391 2.26%
Other 612 0.38% 1,165 0.60%
Total Population Age 5+ 161,941 100.00% 194,674 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,908 31.09%
Other Indo-European* 768 25.01%
Asian Language** 2,242 51.06%
Other Language 284 24.38%
Total 5,202 2.67%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 928 28.48%
Other Indo-European* 484 20.99%
Asian Language** 1,238 44.37%
Other Language 100 16.34%
Total 2,750 1.70%

* "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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