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Kern 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 370,481 75.42% 404,239 66.64%
Spanish 102,465 20.86% 175,849 28.99%
Other Indo-European* 6,834 1.39% 8,444 1.39%
Asian Language** 9,620 1.96% 15,525 2.56%
Other 1,820 0.37% 2,576 0.42%
Total Population Age 5+ 491,220 100.00% 606,633 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 89,601 50.95%
Other Indo-European* 2,950 34.94%
Asian Language** 7,480 48.18%
Other Language 991 38.47%
Total 101,022 16.65%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 50,975 49.75%
Other Indo-European* 1,574 23.03%
Asian Language** 5,079 52.80%
Other Language 679 37.31%
Total 58,307 11.87%

* "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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