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Whitman 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 33,819 91.90% 34,528 89.01%
Spanish 446 1.21% 1,239 3.19%
Other Indo-European* 1,011 2.75% 1,158 2.99%
Asian Language** 1,301 3.54% 1,707 4.40%
Other 223 0.61% 157 0.40%
Total Population Age 5+ 36,800 100.00% 38,789 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 345 27.85%
Other Indo-European* 221 19.08%
Asian Language** 918 53.78%
Other Language 32 20.38%
Total 1,516 3.91%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 99 22.20%
Other Indo-European* 194 19.19%
Asian Language** 671 51.58%
Other Language 55 24.66%
Total 1,019 2.77%

* "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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