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McDowell 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 32,463 98.11% 25,540 98.58%
Spanish 134 0.40% 105 0.41%
Other Indo-European* 422 1.28% 231 0.89%
Asian Language** 26 0.08% 7 0.03%
Other 44 0.13% 25 0.10%
Total Population Age 5+ 33,089 100.00% 25,908 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 36 34.29%
Other Indo-European* 81 35.06%
Asian Language** 2 28.57%
Other Language 13 52.00%
Total 132 0.51%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 15 11.19%
Other Indo-European* 124 29.38%
Asian Language** 11 42.31%
Other Language 1 2.27%
Total 151 0.46%

* "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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