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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 129,381 96.08% 173,936 93.73%
Spanish 1,857 1.38% 6,504 3.50%
Other Indo-European* 2,458 1.83% 3,389 1.83%
Asian Language** 687 0.51% 1,137 0.61%
Other 282 0.21% 598 0.32%
Total Population Age 5+ 134,665 100.00% 185,564 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,337 51.31%
Other Indo-European* 1,016 29.98%
Asian Language** 607 53.39%
Other Language 87 14.55%
Total 5,047 2.72%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 749 40.33%
Other Indo-European* 538 21.89%
Asian Language** 367 53.42%
Other Language 85 30.14%
Total 1,739 1.29%

* "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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