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Merced 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 102,716 64.03% 105,364 54.80%
Spanish 40,056 24.97% 67,490 35.10%
Other Indo-European* 8,669 5.40% 8,995 4.68%
Asian Language** 8,740 5.45% 10,054 5.23%
Other 232 0.14% 356 0.19%
Total Population Age 5+ 160,413 100.00% 192,259 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 35,247 52.23%
Other Indo-European* 3,614 40.18%
Asian Language** 5,977 59.45%
Other Language 137 38.48%
Total 44,975 23.39%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 20,505 51.19%
Other Indo-European* 3,220 37.14%
Asian Language** 6,522 74.62%
Other Language 114 49.14%
Total 30,361 18.93%

* "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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