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Houston, 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 2,305,271 75.86% 2,556,609 66.56%
Spanish 557,933 18.36% 1,001,875 26.08%
Other Indo-European* 76,682 2.52% 109,888 2.86%
Asian Language** 82,731 2.72% 140,838 3.67%
Other 16,092 0.53% 31,780 0.83%
Total Population Age 5+ 3,038,709 100.00% 3,840,990 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 520,969 52.00%
Other Indo-European* 29,894 27.20%
Asian Language** 72,910 51.77%
Other Language 7,178 22.59%
Total 630,951 16.43%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 272,288 48.80%
Other Indo-European* 19,771 25.78%
Asian Language** 42,181 50.99%
Other Language 3,718 23.10%
Total 337,958 11.12%

* "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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