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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 2,448,772 92.74% 2,810,654 87.85%
Spanish 83,087 3.15% 217,614 6.80%
Other Indo-European* 57,997 2.20% 82,828 2.59%
Asian Language** 42,470 1.61% 75,279 2.35%
Other 8,156 0.31% 12,948 0.40%
Total Population Age 5+ 2,640,482 100.00% 3,199,323 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 116,557 53.56%
Other Indo-European* 28,497 34.41%
Asian Language** 39,972 53.10%
Other Language 3,932 30.37%
Total 188,958 5.91%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 36,181 43.55%
Other Indo-European* 17,160 29.59%
Asian Language** 22,470 52.91%
Other Language 2,351 28.83%
Total 78,162 2.96%

* "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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