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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 158,948 94.89% 191,302 94.25%
Spanish 2,486 1.48% 3,993 1.97%
Other Indo-European* 4,591 2.74% 5,266 2.59%
Asian Language** 1,339 0.80% 1,884 0.93%
Other 150 0.09% 522 0.26%
Total Population Age 5+ 167,514 100.00% 202,967 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,218 30.50%
Other Indo-European* 1,288 24.46%
Asian Language** 797 42.30%
Other Language 110 21.07%
Total 3,413 1.68%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 698 28.08%
Other Indo-European* 1,165 25.38%
Asian Language** 523 39.06%
Other Language 40 26.67%
Total 2,426 1.45%

* "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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