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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 85,241 81.13% 84,234 70.04%
Spanish 9,673 9.21% 17,368 14.44%
Other Indo-European* 5,287 5.03% 7,523 6.25%
Asian Language** 2,789 2.65% 4,092 3.40%
Other 2,075 1.97% 7,055 5.87%
Total Population Age 5+ 105,065 100.00% 120,272 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 10,313 59.38%
Other Indo-European* 2,322 30.87%
Asian Language** 2,010 49.12%
Other Language 2,518 35.69%
Total 17,163 14.27%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 5,862 60.60%
Other Indo-European* 1,771 33.50%
Asian Language** 1,607 57.62%
Other Language 658 31.71%
Total 9,898 9.42%

* "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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