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Orleans 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 19,588 87.81% 22,385 90.21%
Spanish 67 0.30% 173 0.70%
Other Indo-European* 2,606 11.68% 2,168 8.74%
Asian Language** 29 0.13% 77 0.31%
Other 17 0.08% 10 0.04%
Total Population Age 5+ 22,307 100.00% 24,813 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 31 17.92%
Other Indo-European* 480 22.14%
Asian Language** 41 53.25%
Other Language 2 20.00%
Total 554 2.23%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 8 11.94%
Other Indo-European* 629 24.14%
Asian Language** 0 -
Other Language 7 41.18%
Total 644 2.89%

* "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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