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South Carolina

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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 3,118,376 96.50% 3,552,240 94.76%
Spanish 44,427 1.37% 110,030 2.94%
Other Indo-European* 50,881 1.57% 55,116 1.47%
Asian Language** 13,749 0.43% 25,534 0.68%
Other 4,106 0.13% 5,749 0.15%
Total Population Age 5+ 3,231,539 100.00% 3,748,669 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 53,604 48.72%
Other Indo-European* 14,485 26.28%
Asian Language** 12,489 48.91%
Other Language 1,701 29.59%
Total 82,279 2.19%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 15,885 35.76%
Other Indo-European* 14,546 28.59%
Asian Language** 6,187 45.00%
Other Language 1,139 27.74%
Total 37,757 1.17%

* "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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