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Suffolk 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 465,110 74.78% 431,448 66.20%
Spanish 59,774 9.61% 94,480 14.50%
Other Indo-European* 64,842 10.42% 77,980 11.97%
Asian Language** 26,572 4.27% 38,176 5.86%
Other 5,713 0.92% 9,624 1.48%
Total Population Age 5+ 622,011 100.00% 651,708 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 46,229 48.93%
Other Indo-European* 34,227 43.89%
Asian Language** 24,239 63.49%
Other Language 3,616 37.57%
Total 108,311 16.62%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 32,358 54.13%
Other Indo-European* 27,711 42.74%
Asian Language** 17,629 66.34%
Other Language 1,627 28.48%
Total 79,325 12.75%

* "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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