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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 394,904 94.31% 433,324 93.63%
Spanish 13,790 3.29% 18,606 4.02%
Other Indo-European* 6,671 1.59% 6,391 1.38%
Asian Language** 1,210 0.29% 2,117 0.46%
Other 2,138 0.51% 2,371 0.51%
Total Population Age 5+ 418,713 100.00% 462,809 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 6,223 33.45%
Other Indo-European* 1,381 21.61%
Asian Language** 862 40.72%
Other Language 453 19.11%
Total 8,919 1.93%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 4,403 31.93%
Other Indo-European* 1,674 25.09%
Asian Language** 583 48.18%
Other Language 606 28.34%
Total 7,266 1.74%

* "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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