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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 91,339 82.27% 114,032 81.57%
Spanish 1,296 1.17% 2,283 1.63%
Other Indo-European* 1,758 1.58% 2,143 1.53%
Asian Language** 16,485 14.85% 21,237 15.19%
Other 140 0.13% 98 0.07%
Total Population Age 5+ 111,018 100.00% 139,793 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 649 28.43%
Other Indo-European* 379 17.69%
Asian Language** 9,770 46.00%
Other Language 42 42.86%
Total 10,840 7.75%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 301 23.23%
Other Indo-European* 379 21.56%
Asian Language** 7,829 47.49%
Other Language 21 15.00%
Total 8,530 7.68%

* "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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