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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 74,546 91.45% 73,443 91.35%
Spanish 1,100 1.35% 1,849 2.30%
Other Indo-European* 5,158 6.33% 4,289 5.33%
Asian Language** 560 0.69% 682 0.85%
Other 154 0.19% 133 0.17%
Total Population Age 5+ 81,518 100.00% 80,396 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 648 35.05%
Other Indo-European* 1,103 25.72%
Asian Language** 327 47.95%
Other Language 37 27.82%
Total 2,115 2.63%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 422 38.36%
Other Indo-European* 1,302 25.24%
Asian Language** 160 28.57%
Other Language 58 37.66%
Total 1,942 2.38%

* "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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