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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 174,083 86.56% 192,779 82.81%
Spanish 20,289 10.09% 31,465 13.52%
Other Indo-European* 4,566 2.27% 4,345 1.87%
Asian Language** 1,919 0.95% 3,695 1.59%
Other 244 0.12% 520 0.22%
Total Population Age 5+ 201,101 100.00% 232,804 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 13,712 43.58%
Other Indo-European* 1,147 26.40%
Asian Language** 1,703 46.09%
Other Language 127 24.42%
Total 16,689 7.17%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 7,619 37.55%
Other Indo-European* 1,232 26.98%
Asian Language** 916 47.73%
Other Language 15 6.15%
Total 9,782 4.86%

* "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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