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Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, TX

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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 51,907 21.91% 63,824 21.02%
Spanish 183,801 77.58% 237,660 78.26%
Other Indo-European* 797 0.34% 961 0.32%
Asian Language** 383 0.16% 971 0.32%
Other 35 0.01% 280 0.09%
Total Population Age 5+ 236,923 100.00% 303,696 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 107,210 45.11%
Other Indo-European* 201 20.92%
Asian Language** 309 31.82%
Other Language 127 45.36%
Total 107,847 35.51%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 94,237 51.27%
Other Indo-European* 282 35.38%
Asian Language** 177 46.21%
Other Language 14 40.00%
Total 94,710 39.98%

* "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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