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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 84,957 96.63% 91,037 96.08%
Spanish 1,500 1.71% 2,105 2.22%
Other Indo-European* 1,061 1.21% 1,012 1.07%
Asian Language** 302 0.34% 405 0.43%
Other 97 0.11% 189 0.20%
Total Population Age 5+ 87,917 100.00% 94,748 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 755 35.87%
Other Indo-European* 147 14.53%
Asian Language** 141 34.81%
Other Language 55 29.10%
Total 1,098 1.16%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 548 36.53%
Other Indo-European* 255 24.03%
Asian Language** 94 31.13%
Other Language 6 6.19%
Total 903 1.03%

* "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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