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Jersey City, NJ

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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 271,371 52.52% 250,459 43.86%
Spanish 164,064 31.75% 214,949 37.64%
Other Indo-European* 54,445 10.54% 61,891 10.84%
Asian Language** 19,494 3.77% 29,308 5.13%
Other 7,364 1.43% 14,488 2.54%
Total Population Age 5+ 516,738 100.00% 571,095 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 115,735 53.84%
Other Indo-European* 25,702 41.53%
Asian Language** 11,785 40.21%
Other Language 5,850 40.38%
Total 159,072 27.85%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 90,351 55.07%
Other Indo-European* 22,617 41.54%
Asian Language** 8,907 45.69%
Other Language 3,060 41.55%
Total 124,935 24.18%

* "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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