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Milwaukee 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 800,018 90.49% 758,473 86.87%
Spanish 31,866 3.60% 63,277 7.25%
Other Indo-European* 39,488 4.47% 30,994 3.55%
Asian Language** 9,643 1.09% 16,155 1.85%
Other 3,060 0.35% 4,249 0.49%
Total Population Age 5+ 884,075 100.00% 873,148 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 30,342 47.95%
Other Indo-European* 10,553 34.05%
Asian Language** 8,406 52.03%
Other Language 1,118 26.31%
Total 50,419 5.77%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 13,047 40.94%
Other Indo-European* 12,194 30.88%
Asian Language** 5,938 61.58%
Other Language 945 30.88%
Total 32,124 3.63%

* "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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