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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 109,013 93.20% 118,308 91.35%
Spanish 1,256 1.07% 2,317 1.79%
Other Indo-European* 3,908 3.34% 4,767 3.68%
Asian Language** 2,469 2.11% 3,635 2.81%
Other 317 0.27% 479 0.37%
Total Population Age 5+ 116,963 100.00% 129,506 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 590 25.46%
Other Indo-European* 1,664 34.91%
Asian Language** 1,759 48.39%
Other Language 163 34.03%
Total 4,176 3.22%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 439 34.95%
Other Indo-European* 1,035 26.48%
Asian Language** 1,019 41.27%
Other Language 75 23.66%
Total 2,568 2.20%

* "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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