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South Dakota

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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 599,232 93.45% 658,245 93.52%
Spanish 5,033 0.78% 10,052 1.43%
Other Indo-European* 24,230 3.78% 19,510 2.77%
Asian Language** 2,054 0.32% 3,053 0.43%
Other 10,677 1.67% 12,960 1.84%
Total Population Age 5+ 641,226 100.00% 703,820 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 3,999 39.78%
Other Indo-European* 7,699 39.46%
Asian Language** 1,505 49.30%
Other Language 3,173 24.48%
Total 16,376 2.33%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,363 27.08%
Other Indo-European* 7,270 30.00%
Asian Language** 938 45.67%
Other Language 2,932 27.46%
Total 12,503 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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