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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 137,433 92.53% 122,532 84.38%
Spanish 6,895 4.64% 18,456 12.71%
Other Indo-European* 2,627 1.77% 1,722 1.19%
Asian Language** 1,284 0.86% 2,092 1.44%
Other 292 0.20% 418 0.29%
Total Population Age 5+ 148,531 100.00% 145,220 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 11,156 60.45%
Other Indo-European* 548 31.82%
Asian Language** 1,092 52.20%
Other Language 158 37.80%
Total 12,954 8.92%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,554 37.04%
Other Indo-European* 750 28.55%
Asian Language** 814 63.40%
Other Language 52 17.81%
Total 4,170 2.81%

* "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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