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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 84,530 95.96% 104,005 94.99%
Spanish 517 0.59% 1,874 1.71%
Other Indo-European* 2,855 3.24% 3,211 2.93%
Asian Language** 101 0.11% 240 0.22%
Other 85 0.10% 163 0.15%
Total Population Age 5+ 88,088 100.00% 109,493 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 771 41.14%
Other Indo-European* 922 28.71%
Asian Language** 86 35.83%
Other Language 35 21.47%
Total 1,814 1.66%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 154 29.79%
Other Indo-European* 832 29.14%
Asian Language** 28 27.72%
Other Language 17 20.00%
Total 1,031 1.17%

* "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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