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Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, PA

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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 518,604 94.40% 550,595 92.89%
Spanish 8,510 1.55% 17,406 2.94%
Other Indo-European* 17,694 3.22% 16,977 2.86%
Asian Language** 3,539 0.64% 5,998 1.01%
Other 1,010 0.18% 1,783 0.30%
Total Population Age 5+ 549,357 100.00% 592,759 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 6,869 39.46%
Other Indo-European* 5,416 31.90%
Asian Language** 3,252 54.22%
Other Language 636 35.67%
Total 16,173 2.73%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,428 40.28%
Other Indo-European* 5,623 31.78%
Asian Language** 2,031 57.39%
Other Language 322 31.88%
Total 11,404 2.08%

* "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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