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Columbia County

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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 57,546 96.79% 59,087 96.82%
Spanish 547 0.92% 641 1.05%
Other Indo-European* 1,162 1.95% 1,068 1.75%
Asian Language** 149 0.25% 141 0.23%
Other 51 0.09% 91 0.15%
Total Population Age 5+ 59,455 100.00% 61,028 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 238 37.13%
Other Indo-European* 308 28.84%
Asian Language** 53 37.59%
Other Language 42 46.15%
Total 641 1.05%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 136 24.86%
Other Indo-European* 313 26.94%
Asian Language** 27 18.12%
Other Language 19 37.25%
Total 495 0.83%

* "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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