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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 192,381 93.81% 194,596 94.13%
Spanish 2,474 1.21% 3,384 1.64%
Other Indo-European* 9,452 4.61% 7,636 3.69%
Asian Language** 399 0.19% 558 0.27%
Other 364 0.18% 556 0.27%
Total Population Age 5+ 205,070 100.00% 206,730 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,083 32.00%
Other Indo-European* 2,426 31.77%
Asian Language** 297 53.23%
Other Language 153 27.52%
Total 3,959 1.92%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 913 36.90%
Other Indo-European* 2,855 30.21%
Asian Language** 147 36.84%
Other Language 95 26.10%
Total 4,010 1.96%

* "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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