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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 16,957 97.99% 16,075 97.55%
Spanish 95 0.55% 174 1.06%
Other Indo-European* 179 1.03% 152 0.92%
Asian Language** 57 0.33% 78 0.47%
Other 16 0.09% 0 0.00%
Total Population Age 5+ 17,304 100.00% 16,479 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 70 40.23%
Other Indo-European* 33 21.71%
Asian Language** 51 65.38%
Other Language 0 -
Total 154 0.93%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 14 14.74%
Other Indo-European* 46 25.70%
Asian Language** 50 87.72%
Other Language 0 -
Total 110 0.64%

* "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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