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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 111,324 93.42% 142,022 90.78%
Spanish 2,536 2.13% 5,686 3.63%
Other Indo-European* 3,537 2.97% 5,932 3.79%
Asian Language** 1,454 1.22% 2,252 1.44%
Other 318 0.27% 549 0.35%
Total Population Age 5+ 119,169 100.00% 156,441 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 2,501 43.99%
Other Indo-European* 2,243 37.81%
Asian Language** 1,171 52.00%
Other Language 161 29.33%
Total 6,076 3.88%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 1,072 42.27%
Other Indo-European* 1,011 28.58%
Asian Language** 770 52.96%
Other Language 89 27.99%
Total 2,942 2.47%

* "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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