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Rochester, NY

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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 899,838 91.63% 930,202 90.35%
Spanish 26,897 2.74% 39,312 3.82%
Other Indo-European* 44,784 4.56% 42,355 4.11%
Asian Language** 8,337 0.85% 13,781 1.34%
Other 2,162 0.22% 3,959 0.38%
Total Population Age 5+ 982,018 100.00% 1,029,609 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 14,826 37.71%
Other Indo-European* 14,247 33.64%
Asian Language** 6,875 49.89%
Other Language 1,358 34.30%
Total 37,306 3.62%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 10,710 39.82%
Other Indo-European* 13,814 30.85%
Asian Language** 3,929 47.13%
Other Language 647 29.93%
Total 29,100 2.96%

* "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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