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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 110,838 95.21% 124,855 94.15%
Spanish 1,973 1.69% 3,486 2.63%
Other Indo-European* 1,864 1.60% 1,942 1.46%
Asian Language** 1,651 1.42% 2,060 1.55%
Other 84 0.07% 272 0.21%
Total Population Age 5+ 116,410 100.00% 132,615 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,332 38.21%
Other Indo-European* 440 22.66%
Asian Language** 1,003 48.69%
Other Language 169 62.13%
Total 2,944 2.22%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 689 34.92%
Other Indo-European* 480 25.75%
Asian Language** 643 38.95%
Other Language 9 10.71%
Total 1,821 1.56%

* "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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