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Roanoke 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 72,863 97.14% 77,166 94.95%
Spanish 603 0.80% 1,694 2.08%
Other Indo-European* 1,210 1.61% 1,661 2.04%
Asian Language** 241 0.32% 505 0.62%
Other 94 0.13% 246 0.30%
Total Population Age 5+ 75,011 100.00% 81,272 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 470 27.74%
Other Indo-European* 383 23.06%
Asian Language** 330 65.35%
Other Language 48 19.51%
Total 1,231 1.51%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 220 36.48%
Other Indo-European* 326 26.94%
Asian Language** 94 39.00%
Other Language 28 29.79%
Total 668 0.89%

* "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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