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Washtenaw 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 239,751 90.82% 262,763 86.78%
Spanish 4,592 1.74% 8,017 2.65%
Other Indo-European* 9,649 3.66% 14,215 4.69%
Asian Language** 7,673 2.91% 13,221 4.37%
Other 2,329 0.88% 4,569 1.51%
Total Population Age 5+ 263,994 100.00% 302,785 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,920 36.42%
Other Indo-European* 3,430 24.13%
Asian Language** 6,069 45.90%
Other Language 1,104 24.16%
Total 13,523 4.47%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,321 28.77%
Other Indo-European* 2,098 21.74%
Asian Language** 3,612 47.07%
Other Language 523 22.46%
Total 7,554 2.86%

* "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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