Luzerne County

LANGUAGE

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 289,345 93.65% 287,778 94.86%
Spanish 2,536 0.82% 4,196 1.38%
Other Indo-European* 15,778 5.11% 10,034 3.31%
Asian Language** 653 0.21% 758 0.25%
Other 665 0.22% 592 0.20%
Total Population Age 5+ 308,977 100.00% 303,358 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,664 39.66%
Other Indo-European* 2,533 25.24%
Asian Language** 367 48.42%
Other Language 159 26.86%
Total 4,723 1.56%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 825 32.53%
Other Indo-European* 3,940 24.97%
Asian Language** 280 42.88%
Other Language 178 26.77%
Total 5,223 1.69%

* "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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