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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 183,512 95.36% 224,032 92.25%
Spanish 2,443 1.27% 7,725 3.18%
Other Indo-European* 3,501 1.82% 5,827 2.40%
Asian Language** 2,490 1.29% 4,384 1.81%
Other 500 0.26% 898 0.37%
Total Population Age 5+ 192,446 100.00% 242,866 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,284 42.51%
Other Indo-European* 1,360 23.34%
Asian Language** 2,238 51.05%
Other Language 282 31.40%
Total 7,164 2.95%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 641 26.24%
Other Indo-European* 929 26.54%
Asian Language** 1,240 49.80%
Other Language 55 11.00%
Total 2,865 1.49%

* "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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