Polk County

LANGUAGE

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 15,563 95.98% 18,055 95.52%
Spanish 356 2.20% 613 3.24%
Other Indo-European* 247 1.52% 144 0.76%
Asian Language** 38 0.23% 52 0.28%
Other 11 0.07% 38 0.20%
Total Population Age 5+ 16,215 100.00% 18,902 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 238 38.83%
Other Indo-European* 34 23.61%
Asian Language** 9 17.31%
Other Language 2 5.26%
Total 283 1.50%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 178 50.00%
Other Indo-European* 25 10.12%
Asian Language** 17 44.74%
Other Language 0 -
Total 220 1.36%

* "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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