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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 219,403 93.25% 290,564 88.54%
Spanish 7,884 3.35% 24,457 7.45%
Other Indo-European* 4,386 1.86% 7,638 2.33%
Asian Language** 2,864 1.22% 4,795 1.46%
Other 741 0.31% 736 0.22%
Total Population Age 5+ 235,278 100.00% 328,190 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 10,403 42.54%
Other Indo-European* 1,356 17.75%
Asian Language** 1,777 37.06%
Other Language 194 26.36%
Total 13,730 4.18%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,317 29.39%
Other Indo-European* 889 20.27%
Asian Language** 905 31.60%
Other Language 162 21.86%
Total 4,273 1.82%

* "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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