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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 181,559 96.00% 172,876 93.26%
Spanish 2,948 1.56% 6,483 3.50%
Other Indo-European* 3,222 1.70% 3,595 1.94%
Asian Language** 1,065 0.56% 1,507 0.81%
Other 330 0.17% 918 0.50%
Total Population Age 5+ 189,124 100.00% 185,379 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,223 49.71%
Other Indo-European* 1,104 30.71%
Asian Language** 710 47.11%
Other Language 182 19.83%
Total 5,219 2.82%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,034 35.07%
Other Indo-European* 685 21.26%
Asian Language** 578 54.27%
Other Language 79 23.94%
Total 2,376 1.26%

* "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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