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Memphis, TN-AR-MS

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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 892,846 96.43% 988,080 94.17%
Spanish 13,138 1.42% 31,664 3.02%
Other Indo-European* 12,347 1.33% 14,782 1.41%
Asian Language** 6,078 0.66% 10,982 1.05%
Other 1,537 0.17% 3,724 0.35%
Total Population Age 5+ 925,946 100.00% 1,049,232 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 15,843 50.03%
Other Indo-European* 3,912 26.46%
Asian Language** 5,998 54.62%
Other Language 1,175 31.55%
Total 26,928 2.57%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4,575 34.82%
Other Indo-European* 3,878 31.41%
Asian Language** 2,876 47.32%
Other Language 301 19.58%
Total 11,630 1.26%

* "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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