All the countries in the world that speak English (excluding South Africa, New Zealand, and Canada) are listed here. Some of them were part of Great Britain before it became an independent country, others were once a part of the British Empire. Most are former colonies, but some were never colonized by Britain. And there is also one country that speaks English and Spanish: Puerto Rico.
English is the most spoken language in the world, accounting for at least 50% of global conversations. It is not surprising that English has become a standard for business and trade. The language has been integrated into every aspect of society, and businesses are also adopting English to communicate with customers.
There are over 6,000 languages in the world. According to Ethnologue, there are over 4,000 of them that are currently spoken. Of these, more than 500 languages are only spoken by 1,000 people or less. However, some language groups have become popular across the globe. These include French and Spanish among others. See also, countries that speak English.
Learn About All The English Speaking Countries
The English language has approximately 400 million native speakers worldwide, trailing only Mandarin and Spanish. However, it is also the single most popular second language. As a result, when native and non-native English speakers are combined, it is recognized as the single most widely-spoken global language.
In fact, English is recognized as an official language in a total of 67 different countries, as well as 27 non-sovereign entities. Moreover, it is a major business language, as well as the official language of a number of the world’s most important institutions, including the United Nations, NATO and the European Union. See also, european countries that speak English.
What Are The Main English Speaking Countries?
English is perhaps most commonly associated with the United States and the United Kingdom; the two largest English speaking countries. It is believed that there are around 230 million native speakers in the United States, making it the largest English-speaking country, while the United Kingdom has approximately 60 million native speakers.
Despite having two different official languages, Canada has the third largest English-speaking population, with somewhere in the region of 20 million native speakers, while Australia is next in the list, with around 17 million. See also, countries with English as official language.
Some of the other notable countries around the world where English is the primary language include the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand. Combined, these three countries are believed to be home to around 13 million people who speak English as their first language.
Overview of English Speaking Countries
Below, we provide a breakdown of some of the most significant countries that have English as either a de jure or a de facto official language. The countries have been sorted based on their geographical location. An official language is defined as a language used by the citizens of that country during interactions with their government. It should be noted that some of the countries listed have more than one official language and, therefore, English may not necessarily be their most common native language.
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Republic of Ireland
- Trinidad and Tobago
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- South Africa, See more English speaking countries in Africa.
How English Spread Around the World
The English language originated in Britain and the ever-expanding British Empire spread Modern English around the world during the 18th and 19th centuries. This is why many of the countries where English is an official language were former British colonies, including Canada, Australia, South Africa and the United States. English is also widely spoken in India and in parts of Africa. Although Hindi is the most widely-spoken language in India today, English remains an official language in the country and is often used in university education, and within the field of politics. Officially, just 12% of Indian people speak English, with many only speaking it as a second language. Nevertheless, the country has an extremely dense population, meaning that this 12% cross-section of society exceeds 100 million people. As a result, India has one of the largest English-speaking populations on the planet. Throughout the 20th century, the United States emerged as a major political superpower, especially in the years after World War II. Its influence, combined with Hollywood films and the journalistic work of the British Broadcasting Corporation, are credited with the continued spread of the language throughout the century. Read more, what countries speak English.
English remains the only official language of the Commonwealth of Nations and is also the recognised official language of several non-sovereign entities, including Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Bermuda.
By the turn of the new millennium, English was the most widely-spoken and written language that has ever existed. In 2000, about 534 million people worldwide were able to understand it. Nevertheless, the conviction of England and her Commonwealth allies that a global order was still possible in which all the world’s nations would be unify into one international entity led them to take steps towards language reform during this century under pressure from much-admired but unskilled leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (who learned French so that he could communicate better with other heads of state), Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Filipino Vice-President Leni Robredo and Mexican politician Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Commonwealth nations may feel the pressure to completely abandon English as its sole official language by 2020 when both India and China become stronger at rebuffing other world powers through rapid economic growth that causes an increasingly large inflow of talent (since they are on different trajectories towards doubling their population in length each decade) partially eclipsing Western technological advances that led to the impressive ability of many English-speaking nations to resist more and more outsourcing in economic sectors.
In conclusion, English is the most widely-spoken language in the world, and has been for over a thousand years. Its worldwide influence can be seen in every aspect of modern life, from government to business to education. It is undoubtedly the most important language in history. You May Like learn English.