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Benton County

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LANGUAGE

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 93,873 90.81% 113,095 85.81%
Spanish 6,830 6.61% 13,425 10.19%
Other Indo-European* 1,433 1.39% 3,334 2.53%
Asian Language** 1,127 1.09% 1,747 1.33%
Other 108 0.10% 201 0.15%
Total Population Age 5+ 103,371 100.00% 131,802 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 6,394 47.63%
Other Indo-European* 1,136 34.07%
Asian Language** 786 44.99%
Other Language 75 37.31%
Total 8,391 6.37%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,030 44.36%
Other Indo-European* 411 28.68%
Asian Language** 598 53.06%
Other Language 28 25.93%
Total 4,067 3.93%

* "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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