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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 25,314 77.69% 25,886 82.35%
Spanish 129 0.40% 143 0.45%
Other Indo-European* 7,075 21.71% 5,328 16.95%
Asian Language** 38 0.12% 76 0.24%
Other 28 0.09% 1 0.00%
Total Population Age 5+ 32,584 100.00% 31,434 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 51 35.66%
Other Indo-European* 1,141 21.42%
Asian Language** 9 11.84%
Other Language 0 0.00%
Total 1,201 3.82%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 24 18.60%
Other Indo-European* 1,547 21.87%
Asian Language** 6 15.79%
Other Language 8 28.57%
Total 1,585 4.86%

* "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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