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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 2,722,355 89.46% 3,402,266 84.92%
Spanish 203,896 6.70% 421,670 10.53%
Other Indo-European* 71,439 2.35% 100,148 2.50%
Asian Language** 35,167 1.16% 63,745 1.59%
Other 10,129 0.33% 18,456 0.46%
Total Population Age 5+ 3,042,986 100.00% 4,006,285 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 202,883 48.11%
Other Indo-European* 26,943 26.90%
Asian Language** 32,138 50.42%
Other Language 5,540 30.02%
Total 267,504 6.68%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 69,100 33.89%
Other Indo-European* 18,262 25.56%
Asian Language** 19,377 55.10%
Other Language 3,150 31.10%
Total 109,889 3.61%

* "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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