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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 158,161 91.77% 197,631 86.00%
Spanish 2,959 1.72% 7,373 3.21%
Other Indo-European* 6,189 3.59% 10,880 4.73%
Asian Language** 4,441 2.58% 11,309 4.92%
Other 599 0.35% 2,604 1.13%
Total Population Age 5+ 172,349 100.00% 229,797 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,757 37.39%
Other Indo-European* 2,698 24.80%
Asian Language** 5,207 46.04%
Other Language 401 15.40%
Total 11,063 4.81%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 882 29.81%
Other Indo-European* 1,352 21.85%
Asian Language** 2,170 48.86%
Other Language 106 17.70%
Total 4,510 2.62%

* "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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