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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 319,729 95.52% 364,642 93.41%
Spanish 3,777 1.13% 7,930 2.03%
Other Indo-European* 6,687 2.00% 11,523 2.95%
Asian Language** 3,682 1.10% 5,431 1.39%
Other 848 0.25% 840 0.22%
Total Population Age 5+ 334,723 100.00% 390,366 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,284 28.80%
Other Indo-European* 5,042 43.76%
Asian Language** 2,714 49.97%
Other Language 344 40.95%
Total 10,384 2.66%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,021 27.03%
Other Indo-European* 1,594 23.84%
Asian Language** 2,118 57.52%
Other Language 228 26.89%
Total 4,961 1.48%

* "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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