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Polk County

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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 26,653 92.64% 34,183 87.96%
Spanish 1,231 4.28% 3,691 9.50%
Other Indo-European* 435 1.51% 444 1.14%
Asian Language** 28 0.10% 171 0.44%
Other 425 1.48% 372 0.96%
Total Population Age 5+ 28,772 100.00% 38,861 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,492 40.42%
Other Indo-European* 51 11.49%
Asian Language** 66 38.60%
Other Language 124 33.33%
Total 1,733 4.46%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 550 44.68%
Other Indo-European* 102 23.45%
Asian Language** 15 53.57%
Other Language 170 40.00%
Total 837 2.91%

* "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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