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Watauga 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 34,294 97.33% 39,132 95.40%
Spanish 446 1.27% 914 2.23%
Other Indo-European* 421 1.19% 768 1.87%
Asian Language** 55 0.16% 122 0.30%
Other 18 0.05% 85 0.21%
Total Population Age 5+ 35,234 100.00% 41,021 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 251 27.46%
Other Indo-European* 100 13.02%
Asian Language** 66 54.10%
Other Language 16 18.82%
Total 433 1.06%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 141 31.61%
Other Indo-European* 144 34.20%
Asian Language** 20 36.36%
Other Language 6 33.33%
Total 311 0.88%

* "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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