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Alameda 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 889,637 75.16% 850,906 63.19%
Spanish 106,032 8.96% 192,512 14.30%
Other Indo-European* 57,790 4.88% 85,324 6.34%
Asian Language** 121,683 10.28% 204,944 15.22%
Other 8,574 0.72% 12,980 0.96%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,183,716 100.00% 1,346,666 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 102,395 53.19%
Other Indo-European* 26,301 30.82%
Asian Language** 105,584 51.52%
Other Language 3,584 27.61%
Total 237,864 17.66%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 47,485 44.78%
Other Indo-European* 18,539 32.08%
Asian Language** 65,464 53.80%
Other Language 3,171 36.98%
Total 134,659 11.38%

* "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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