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Pierce County

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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 491,986 91.44% 574,433 88.23%
Spanish 10,351 1.92% 24,602 3.78%
Other Indo-European* 15,736 2.92% 19,065 2.93%
Asian Language** 18,809 3.50% 31,447 4.83%
Other 1,169 0.22% 1,534 0.24%
Total Population Age 5+ 538,051 100.00% 651,081 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 9,664 39.28%
Other Indo-European* 5,468 28.68%
Asian Language** 16,012 50.92%
Other Language 379 24.71%
Total 31,523 4.84%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,218 31.09%
Other Indo-European* 3,530 22.43%
Asian Language** 10,165 54.04%
Other Language 244 20.87%
Total 17,157 3.19%

* "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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