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Northumberland 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 86,138 94.89% 85,743 95.57%
Spanish 717 0.79% 1,338 1.49%
Other Indo-European* 3,769 4.15% 2,316 2.58%
Asian Language** 97 0.11% 234 0.26%
Other 54 0.06% 88 0.10%
Total Population Age 5+ 90,775 100.00% 89,719 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 402 30.04%
Other Indo-European* 641 27.68%
Asian Language** 105 44.87%
Other Language 18 20.45%
Total 1,166 1.30%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 240 33.47%
Other Indo-European* 1,127 29.90%
Asian Language** 29 29.90%
Other Language 7 12.96%
Total 1,403 1.55%

* "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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