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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 27,758 94.88% 33,163 86.08%
Spanish 491 1.68% 3,112 8.08%
Other Indo-European* 596 2.04% 1,207 3.13%
Asian Language** 263 0.90% 793 2.06%
Other 149 0.51% 249 0.65%
Total Population Age 5+ 29,257 100.00% 38,524 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,908 61.31%
Other Indo-European* 502 41.59%
Asian Language** 369 46.53%
Other Language 146 58.63%
Total 2,925 7.59%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 184 37.47%
Other Indo-European* 130 21.81%
Asian Language** 170 64.64%
Other Language 54 36.24%
Total 538 1.84%

* "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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