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New Mexico

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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 896,049 64.46% 1,072,947 63.49%
Spanish 388,186 27.93% 485,681 28.74%
Other Indo-European* 17,012 1.22% 22,032 1.30%
Asian Language** 7,950 0.57% 11,517 0.68%
Other 80,851 5.82% 97,734 5.78%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,390,048 100.00% 1,689,911 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 158,629 32.66%
Other Indo-European* 5,121 23.24%
Asian Language** 5,034 43.71%
Other Language 32,271 33.02%
Total 201,055 11.90%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 119,705 30.84%
Other Indo-European* 3,854 22.65%
Asian Language** 3,753 47.21%
Other Language 32,308 39.96%
Total 159,620 11.48%

* "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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