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Lea 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 37,510 73.56% 34,456 67.21%
Spanish 13,093 25.68% 16,368 31.93%
Other Indo-European* 206 0.40% 220 0.43%
Asian Language** 159 0.31% 151 0.29%
Other 22 0.04% 71 0.14%
Total Population Age 5+ 50,990 100.00% 51,266 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 5,969 36.47%
Other Indo-European* 57 25.91%
Asian Language** 41 27.15%
Other Language 12 16.90%
Total 6,079 11.86%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4,999 38.18%
Other Indo-European* 28 13.59%
Asian Language** 70 44.03%
Other Language 2 9.09%
Total 5,099 10.00%

* "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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