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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 172,278 96.00% 196,085 92.89%
Spanish 1,745 0.97% 7,916 3.75%
Other Indo-European* 3,204 1.79% 2,695 1.28%
Asian Language** 1,931 1.08% 3,794 1.80%
Other 295 0.16% 596 0.28%
Total Population Age 5+ 179,453 100.00% 211,086 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4,749 59.99%
Other Indo-European* 620 23.01%
Asian Language** 2,081 54.85%
Other Language 93 15.60%
Total 7,543 3.57%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 489 28.02%
Other Indo-European* 890 27.78%
Asian Language** 1,494 77.37%
Other Language 40 13.56%
Total 2,913 1.62%

* "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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