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Santa Clara 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 938,660 67.70% 854,337 54.62%
Spanish 188,648 13.61% 275,439 17.61%
Other Indo-European* 73,147 5.28% 112,351 7.18%
Asian Language** 174,609 12.59% 304,332 19.46%
Other 11,386 0.82% 17,609 1.13%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,386,450 100.00% 1,564,068 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 142,627 51.78%
Other Indo-European* 33,396 29.72%
Asian Language** 162,031 53.24%
Other Language 5,266 29.91%
Total 343,320 21.95%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 84,474 44.78%
Other Indo-European* 21,887 29.92%
Asian Language** 97,225 55.68%
Other Language 3,697 32.47%
Total 207,283 14.95%

* "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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