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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 13,777 80.62% 15,332 80.06%
Spanish 2,035 11.91% 3,130 16.34%
Other Indo-European* 1,191 6.97% 626 3.27%
Asian Language** 85 0.50% 24 0.13%
Other 0 0.00% 38 0.20%
Total Population Age 5+ 17,088 100.00% 19,150 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,536 49.07%
Other Indo-European* 163 26.04%
Asian Language** 24 100.00%
Other Language 9 23.68%
Total 1,732 9.04%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 954 46.88%
Other Indo-European* 299 25.10%
Asian Language** 61 71.76%
Other Language 0 -
Total 1,314 7.69%

* "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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