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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 128,820 96.33% 175,194 94.31%
Spanish 1,372 1.03% 3,474 1.87%
Other Indo-European* 2,437 1.82% 3,444 1.85%
Asian Language** 827 0.62% 3,088 1.66%
Other 266 0.20% 560 0.30%
Total Population Age 5+ 133,722 100.00% 185,760 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,001 28.81%
Other Indo-European* 858 24.91%
Asian Language** 1,463 47.38%
Other Language 91 16.25%
Total 3,413 1.84%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 521 37.97%
Other Indo-European* 764 31.35%
Asian Language** 445 53.81%
Other Language 34 12.78%
Total 1,764 1.32%

* "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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