English speakers, English as a native
and official language, worldwide

Over 2 billion people speak English, making English the largest language by number of speakers,
and the third largest language by number of native speakers.

Major Varieties of English

Besides the major varieties of English, such as American English, British English, Canadian English, Australian English, Irish English, New Zealand English and their sub-varieties, countries such as South  Africa, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from English-based creole languages to Standard English. Other countries such as Ghana and Uganda also use English as their primary official languages.

Some stats

United States of America (at least 231 million), the United Kingdom (in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) (60 million), Canada (at least 20 million), Australia (at least 17 million), Republic of Ireland (4.8 million) and New Zealand (4.8 million). South Africa (4.8 million).

International Official language for:

Although the majority of the world does not speak English, it is still considered the Diplomatic language of the world.

Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as the “world language”, the lingua franca of the modern era.

It is, by international treaty, the official language for aeronautical and maritime communications. English is one of the official languages of the United Nations and many other international organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. It is also one of two co-official languages for astronauts (besides the Russian language) serving on board the International Space Station. 

Primary Natively Spoken Language

English is also the primary natively spoken language in the countries and territories of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey, Guyana, the Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey,  Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Another substantial community of native speakers is found in South Africa (4.8 million).

Official Language of:

It is an official language of:  Botswana, Cameroon (co-official with French), Eswatini (Swaziland), Fiji, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, the Federated States of Micronesia,  Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea,  Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There also are countries where in a part of the territory English became a co-official language, in Colombia’s San Andrés y Providencia, Hong Kong, Honduras’s Bay Islands, and Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast.

India and Pakistan

India has the largest number of second-language speakers of English; Pakistan also has the English language (Pakistani English) as a second official language after the Urdu language as the result of British rule (Raj), making Pakistan the only Islamic country in which English is official. Sri Lanka and The Philippines use the English language, too, as the second and third official language after Sinhala, Tamil, and Filipino.

Other countries where it is official or used extensively

English is one of the eleven official languages that are given equal status in South Africa (South African English). It is also the official language in current dependent territories of Australia (Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and Cocos Island) and of the United States of America (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico (in Puerto Rico, English is co-official with Spanish) and the US Virgin Islands), and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

English is also an important language in several former colonies and protectorates of the United Kingdom, such as Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates.

Countries where English is the Native or Official Language

  1. United States of America (at least 231 million)
  2. United Kingdom (in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) (60 million)
  3. Canada (at least 20 million)
  4. Australia (at least 17 million)
  5. Republic of Ireland (4.8 million)
  6. New Zealand (4.8 million).
  7. South Africa (4.8 million)
  8. Anguilla, 
  9. Antigua and Barbuda,
  10. Bahamas, 
  11. Barbados, 
  12. Belize, 
  13. Bermuda,
  14. British Indian Ocean Territory,
  15. British Virgin Islands,
  16. Cayman Islands, 
  17. Dominica,
  18. Falkland Islands, 
  19. Gibraltar, 
  20. Grenada, 
  21. Guam, 
  22. Guernsey, 
  23. Guyana,
  24. Isle of Man,
  25. Jamaica, 
  26. Jersey, 
  27. Montserrat,
  28. Pitcairn Islands, 
  29. Saint Helena,
  30. Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, 
  31. Saint Kitts and Nevis, 
  32. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 
  33. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, 
  34. Trinidad and Tobago,
  35. Turks and Caicos Islands,
  36. United States Virgin Islands.
  37. Botswana, 
  38. Cameroon (co-official with French), 
  39. Eswatini (Swaziland), 
  40. Fiji, 
  41. Ghana, 
  42. India, 
  43. Kenya, 
  44. Kiribati, 
  45. Lesotho, 
  46. Liberia, 
  47. Malta,
  48. Marshall Islands, 
  49. Mauritius,
  50. Federated States of Micronesia,
  51. Namibia,
  52. Nigeria,
  53. Pakistan,
  54. Palau,
  55. Papua New Guinea,
  56. Philippines, 
  57. Rwanda, 
  58. Saint Lucia, 
  59. Samoa, 
  60. Seychelles, 
  61. Sierra Leone, 
  62. Singapore,
  63. the Solomon Islands, 
  64. Sri Lanka, 
  65. Sudan, 
  66. South Africa, 
  67. South Sudan, 
  68. Tanzania, 
  69. Uganda, 
  70. Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  71. Colombia’s San Andrés y Providencia, 
  72. Hong Kong,
  73. Honduras’s Bay Islands,
  74. Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast 

**Information and stats from Wikipedia

Improve your life with The 4Fs for Holistic Wellness and Success

Receive the latest news