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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 1,432,947 92.25% 1,770,626 87.49%
Spanish 51,945 3.34% 150,244 7.42%
Other Indo-European* 34,088 2.19% 49,865 2.46%
Asian Language** 22,346 1.44% 37,805 1.87%
Other 12,025 0.77% 15,335 0.76%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,553,351 100.00% 2,023,875 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 71,405 47.53%
Other Indo-European* 13,156 26.38%
Asian Language** 16,310 43.14%
Other Language 4,820 31.43%
Total 105,691 5.22%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 17,037 32.80%
Other Indo-European* 9,018 26.46%
Asian Language** 10,274 45.98%
Other Language 4,496 37.39%
Total 40,825 2.63%

* "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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