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Bergen-Passaic, 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 877,854 73.33% 823,371 64.22%
Spanish 126,543 10.57% 207,014 16.15%
Other Indo-European* 131,802 11.01% 146,297 11.41%
Asian Language** 44,279 3.70% 79,753 6.22%
Other 16,636 1.39% 25,763 2.01%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,197,114 100.00% 1,282,198 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 103,862 50.17%
Other Indo-European* 57,001 38.96%
Asian Language** 40,887 51.27%
Other Language 7,903 30.68%
Total 209,653 16.35%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 64,378 50.87%
Other Indo-European* 48,199 36.57%
Asian Language** 24,771 55.94%
Other Language 5,698 34.25%
Total 143,046 11.95%

* "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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