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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 35,681 94.05% 38,427 89.26%
Spanish 455 1.20% 1,278 2.97%
Other Indo-European* 1,175 3.10% 1,671 3.88%
Asian Language** 544 1.43% 1,415 3.29%
Other 84 0.22% 260 0.60%
Total Population Age 5+ 37,939 100.00% 43,051 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 412 32.24%
Other Indo-European* 283 16.94%
Asian Language** 499 35.27%
Other Language 50 19.23%
Total 1,244 2.89%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 150 32.97%
Other Indo-European* 265 22.55%
Asian Language** 263 48.35%
Other Language 43 51.19%
Total 721 1.90%

* "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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