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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 15,401 82.98% 14,043 69.40%
Spanish 1,054 5.68% 2,736 13.52%
Other Indo-European* 783 4.22% 1,204 5.95%
Asian Language** 1,104 5.95% 2,013 9.95%
Other 218 1.17% 240 1.19%
Total Population Age 5+ 18,560 100.00% 20,236 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,490 54.46%
Other Indo-European* 444 36.88%
Asian Language** 1,025 50.92%
Other Language 83 34.58%
Total 3,042 15.03%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 618 58.63%
Other Indo-European* 250 31.93%
Asian Language** 611 55.34%
Other Language 88 40.37%
Total 1,567 8.44%

* "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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