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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 184,271 95.62% 184,746 96.39%
Spanish 1,413 0.73% 1,689 0.88%
Other Indo-European* 6,524 3.39% 4,486 2.34%
Asian Language** 223 0.12% 438 0.23%
Other 271 0.14% 299 0.16%
Total Population Age 5+ 192,702 100.00% 191,658 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 465 27.53%
Other Indo-European* 1,233 27.49%
Asian Language** 164 37.44%
Other Language 55 18.39%
Total 1,917 1.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 514 36.38%
Other Indo-European* 1,844 28.26%
Asian Language** 103 46.19%
Other Language 81 29.89%
Total 2,542 1.32%

* "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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