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Columbia County

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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 38,064 96.32% 50,221 94.93%
Spanish 740 1.87% 1,640 3.10%
Other Indo-European* 527 1.33% 702 1.33%
Asian Language** 143 0.36% 263 0.50%
Other 43 0.11% 78 0.15%
Total Population Age 5+ 39,517 100.00% 52,904 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 707 43.11%
Other Indo-European* 164 23.36%
Asian Language** 110 41.83%
Other Language 10 12.82%
Total 991 1.87%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 311 42.03%
Other Indo-European* 155 29.41%
Asian Language** 59 41.26%
Other Language 0 -
Total 525 1.33%

* "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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