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Thurston 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 140,042 93.45% 176,672 90.76%
Spanish 2,610 1.74% 5,373 2.76%
Other Indo-European* 3,387 2.26% 4,526 2.33%
Asian Language** 3,575 2.39% 7,729 3.97%
Other 245 0.16% 357 0.18%
Total Population Age 5+ 149,859 100.00% 194,657 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,914 35.62%
Other Indo-European* 911 20.13%
Asian Language** 3,906 50.54%
Other Language 105 29.41%
Total 6,836 3.51%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 713 27.32%
Other Indo-European* 727 21.46%
Asian Language** 1,780 49.79%
Other Language 48 19.59%
Total 3,268 2.18%

* "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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