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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 225,830 90.28% 336,049 84.47%
Spanish 14,388 5.75% 40,100 10.08%
Other Indo-European* 4,348 1.74% 9,987 2.51%
Asian Language** 4,760 1.90% 10,194 2.56%
Other 826 0.33% 1,523 0.38%
Total Population Age 5+ 250,152 100.00% 397,853 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 18,247 45.50%
Other Indo-European* 2,283 22.86%
Asian Language** 5,117 50.20%
Other Language 403 26.46%
Total 26,050 6.55%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 5,391 37.47%
Other Indo-European* 812 18.68%
Asian Language** 2,323 48.80%
Other Language 151 18.28%
Total 8,677 3.47%

* "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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