LANGUAGE SKILLS

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FYI: Two-thirds of the 2.8 million foreign-born residents of New York who told census-takers that they don’t speak English at home nevertheless speak it fluently when necessary, according to the Migration Information Source’s analysis of Census 2000 data. The Census showed a 65 percent spike in the number of people nationally who speak a language other than English at home, but that number doesn’t translate into a population with fewer English skills. To the contrary, only 10 percent of America’s foreign-born population–and only 7 percent of New York’s–spoke no English at all. [1/3/03]