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Otter Tail 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 44,602 94.38% 51,138 94.74%
Spanish 272 0.58% 1,033 1.91%
Other Indo-European* 1,767 3.74% 1,378 2.55%
Asian Language** 120 0.25% 115 0.21%
Other 496 1.05% 316 0.59%
Total Population Age 5+ 47,257 100.00% 53,980 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 520 50.34%
Other Indo-European* 436 31.64%
Asian Language** 48 41.74%
Other Language 105 33.23%
Total 1,109 2.05%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 83 30.51%
Other Indo-European* 440 24.90%
Asian Language** 58 48.33%
Other Language 93 18.75%
Total 674 1.43%

* "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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