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Portage 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 52,780 92.37% 59,193 93.59%
Spanish 496 0.87% 1,062 1.68%
Other Indo-European* 3,265 5.71% 1,878 2.97%
Asian Language** 513 0.90% 1,091 1.72%
Other 84 0.15% 26 0.04%
Total Population Age 5+ 57,138 100.00% 63,250 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 393 37.01%
Other Indo-European* 617 32.85%
Asian Language** 640 58.66%
Other Language 0 0.00%
Total 1,650 2.61%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 114 22.98%
Other Indo-European* 1,122 34.36%
Asian Language** 383 74.66%
Other Language 40 47.62%
Total 1,659 2.90%

* "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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