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West Virginia

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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 1,642,729 97.38% 1,661,036 97.31%
Spanish 13,337 0.79% 17,652 1.03%
Other Indo-European* 24,257 1.44% 19,491 1.14%
Asian Language** 4,370 0.26% 6,038 0.35%
Other 2,239 0.13% 2,714 0.16%
Total Population Age 5+ 1,686,932 100.00% 1,706,931 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 5,728 32.45%
Other Indo-European* 4,970 25.50%
Asian Language** 2,249 37.25%
Other Language 603 22.22%
Total 13,550 0.79%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4,348 32.60%
Other Indo-European* 6,980 28.78%
Asian Language** 1,766 40.41%
Other Language 500 22.33%
Total 13,594 0.81%

* "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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