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Providence-Fall River-Warwick, MA-RI

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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 702,385 82.16% 715,117 79.04%
Spanish 34,392 4.02% 77,594 8.58%
Other Indo-European* 102,720 12.02% 87,160 9.63%
Asian Language** 12,196 1.43% 19,244 2.13%
Other 3,212 0.38% 5,673 0.63%
Total Population Age 5+ 854,905 100.00% 904,788 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 39,755 51.23%
Other Indo-European* 30,414 34.89%
Asian Language** 9,664 50.22%
Other Language 1,676 29.54%
Total 81,509 9.01%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 19,367 56.31%
Other Indo-European* 36,729 35.76%
Asian Language** 7,022 57.58%
Other Language 867 26.99%
Total 63,985 7.48%

* "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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