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Wake 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 371,089 94.29% 511,976 87.82%
Spanish 6,664 1.69% 33,840 5.80%
Other Indo-European* 8,447 2.15% 18,517 3.18%
Asian Language** 5,251 1.33% 12,521 2.15%
Other 2,108 0.54% 6,124 1.05%
Total Population Age 5+ 393,559 100.00% 582,978 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 20,542 60.70%
Other Indo-European* 4,531 24.47%
Asian Language** 5,697 45.50%
Other Language 1,697 27.71%
Total 32,467 5.57%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,177 32.67%
Other Indo-European* 2,132 25.24%
Asian Language** 2,778 52.90%
Other Language 574 27.23%
Total 7,661 1.95%

* "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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