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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 116,865 94.80% 128,122 93.31%
Spanish 2,281 1.85% 3,956 2.88%
Other Indo-European* 2,345 1.90% 2,841 2.07%
Asian Language** 1,650 1.34% 1,971 1.44%
Other 140 0.11% 413 0.30%
Total Population Age 5+ 123,281 100.00% 137,303 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,159 29.30%
Other Indo-European* 715 25.17%
Asian Language** 946 48.00%
Other Language 120 29.06%
Total 2,940 2.14%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 761 33.36%
Other Indo-European* 489 20.85%
Asian Language** 848 51.39%
Other Language 62 44.29%
Total 2,160 1.75%

* "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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