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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 143,599 93.02% 152,149 91.71%
Spanish 3,681 2.38% 5,951 3.59%
Other Indo-European* 4,033 2.61% 3,981 2.40%
Asian Language** 2,932 1.90% 3,343 2.02%
Other 128 0.08% 473 0.29%
Total Population Age 5+ 154,373 100.00% 165,897 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,702 28.60%
Other Indo-European* 1,028 25.82%
Asian Language** 1,865 55.79%
Other Language 129 27.27%
Total 4,724 2.85%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,013 27.52%
Other Indo-European* 1,145 28.39%
Asian Language** 1,461 49.83%
Other Language 18 14.06%
Total 3,637 2.36%

* "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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