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Van Buren 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 13,001 97.83% 14,972 97.61%
Spanish 96 0.72% 221 1.44%
Other Indo-European* 155 1.17% 101 0.66%
Asian Language** 33 0.25% 36 0.23%
Other 5 0.04% 8 0.05%
Total Population Age 5+ 13,290 100.00% 15,338 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 65 29.41%
Other Indo-European* 32 31.68%
Asian Language** 13 36.11%
Other Language 2 25.00%
Total 112 0.73%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 48 50.00%
Other Indo-European* 54 34.84%
Asian Language** 17 51.52%
Other Language 0 -
Total 119 0.90%

* "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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