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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 94,556 82.61% 110,841 83.87%
Spanish 17,147 14.98% 18,740 14.18%
Other Indo-European* 2,225 1.94% 1,755 1.33%
Asian Language** 352 0.31% 609 0.46%
Other 186 0.16% 216 0.16%
Total Population Age 5+ 114,466 100.00% 132,161 100.00%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 2000
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 5,439 29.02%
Other Indo-European* 441 25.13%
Asian Language** 273 44.83%
Other Language 35 16.20%
Total 6,188 4.68%

Population Speaking English Less Than "Very Well" in 1990
Language Spoken at Home: Number Percent
Spanish 5,456 31.82%
Other Indo-European* 618 27.78%
Asian Language** 157 44.60%
Other Language 61 32.80%
Total 6,292 5.50%

* "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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