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Berrien 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 12,622 96.51% 14,393 95.99%
Spanish 285 2.18% 349 2.33%
Other Indo-European* 140 1.07% 157 1.05%
Asian Language** 28 0.21% 43 0.29%
Other 4 0.03% 53 0.35%
Total Population Age 5+ 13,079 100.00% 14,995 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 150 42.98%
Other Indo-European* 57 36.31%
Asian Language** 27 62.79%
Other Language 2 3.77%
Total 236 1.57%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 196 68.77%
Other Indo-European* 34 24.29%
Asian Language** 14 50.00%
Other Language 4 100.00%
Total 248 1.90%

* "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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