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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 86,421 96.45% 84,060 94.75%
Spanish 1,042 1.16% 1,805 2.03%
Other Indo-European* 1,326 1.48% 1,549 1.75%
Asian Language** 642 0.72% 876 0.99%
Other 168 0.19% 431 0.49%
Total Population Age 5+ 89,599 100.00% 88,721 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 725 40.17%
Other Indo-European* 639 41.25%
Asian Language** 449 51.26%
Other Language 187 43.39%
Total 2,000 2.25%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 466 44.72%
Other Indo-European* 383 28.88%
Asian Language** 406 63.24%
Other Language 23 13.69%
Total 1,278 1.43%

* "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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