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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 102,085 96.74% 130,592 89.49%
Spanish 1,636 1.55% 11,051 7.57%
Other Indo-European* 1,098 1.04% 1,459 1.00%
Asian Language** 585 0.55% 2,595 1.78%
Other 119 0.11% 237 0.16%
Total Population Age 5+ 105,523 100.00% 145,934 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 6,807 61.60%
Other Indo-European* 288 19.74%
Asian Language** 1,261 48.59%
Other Language 92 38.82%
Total 8,448 5.79%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 538 32.89%
Other Indo-European* 314 28.60%
Asian Language** 328 56.07%
Other Language 43 36.13%
Total 1,223 1.16%

* "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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