Approximately 7,151 languages are spoken today. English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish are the top four languages that are most spoken around the globe. These facts and figures keep fluctuating with evolving population.
Some of the languages that were used in 2000 have become extinct today, while some new languages have come into existence. The languages used today and how they are used will change in the years 2030, 2060, and beyond.
If you want to know more fascinating facts about different languages spoken around the globe, you are in the right place. In the following article, we have compiled all the latest facts, figures, and trends about various languages.
Language Statistics At A Glance
- There are 250,000 words in the English language. It has the most words as compared to other languages.
- Toki Pona has just 123 words in its vocabulary. It has the least words of all languages.
- Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, has 74 alphabets. It is spoken by 16 million people.
- There are just 12 letters in the Rotokas language. It is spoken by 4,300 people in the eastern part of Papua New Guinea.
- !Xóõ is spoken by approximately 4,200 people in Botswana. It has 141 sounds.
- 11.7% of the people over 65 years cannot speak a second language and do not have any interest in learning it.
- 2.8% of the people aged between 18 to 24 years cannot speak a 2nd language and do not have an interest in learning a new one.
- Only 5% of the people between the age of 25 to 34 reported that they spoke a second language.
- 43 million people in the United States reported that they spoke Spanish as their first language.
- A large number of the female population cannot speak a second language and are uninterested in learning one.
English Language Statistics
Nearly 1,500 million people around the globe speak English. It is the most spoken language worldwide. However, it is the first language of more than 372 million people. Let us take a look at some stats related to the English Language.
- With 1,121 million speakers, including native and non-native speakers, English is the most widely spoken language in the world.
- 378 million people are native English speakers, while 743 million are non-native speakers.
|English Language Speakers||Number Of People|
|Native speakers||378 million|
|Non-native speakers||743 million|
- Only 4% of the conversations involve only native English speakers.
- English is the dominant language on the internet, as 54% of the world wide web is in the English language.
- More than 50% of the scientific and technical periodicals are written in the English language.
- In 118 countries, English is spoken as the native language.
- English is recognized as an official language in 59 countries.
- As per Oxford Dictionary, 171,476 words are currently in use in the English language.
- 250,000 distinct words are there in the English language, excluding the technical and regional vocabulary.
- There are 750,000 words in the English language if counted liberally.
- Native speakers who are born and brought up in English-speaking countries have a vocabulary size of 25-30,000 words.
- Non-native speakers typically have a vocabulary of 2000 to 3000 words.
- There are 25% of adjectives in the English language, while 14% are verbs and 50% are nouns.
- English language has the most words as compared to other languages.
Which Languages Are Spoken In The United States?
The United States is home to people with multiple cultures, races, and colors. Hence, various Languages are spoken in the country. But the official language of the people in the United States is American English. Here are a few statistics related to the languages that are spoken by the citizens of the United States.
- The second most spoken language in the United States is Spanish. More than 41.75 million people spoke Spanish at home.
- There were 3.48 million Chinese speakers and 1.76 million Tagalog speakers in the United States.
- 1.57 million Vietnamese speakers were found in the nation.
- 67% of Americans cannot speak a second language.
- 40% of Americans reported that they do not have any interest in learning a second language.
- Only 23% of Americans reported that they speak only one-second language.
- Only 10% of Americans can speak a second language.
- 22.4% of the females reported that they could not speak any second language but wanted to learn one.
- 27% of the males want to learn a second language.
- People between the age group of 18 to 44 can speak more than one-second language.
- People above the age of 45 usually speak only one language.
- 43 million people in the United States reported that they speak Spanish as their first language.
Which Are The Most Spoken Languages Worldwide?
Yes, you guessed it right. English is the most spoken language in the world. But what about other languages? Which are the second and third most spoken languages in the world?
In the following section, you will find facts and figures related to the top most spoken languages worldwide.
- English is the most spoken language in the world. 1500 million people speak English.
- The second most spoken language in the world is Chinese (Mandarin), with 1,100 million speakers.
- 602.2 million people worldwide speak the Hindi language.
- Spanish and French were the fourth and fifth most spoken languages in the world.
The following table displays the most spoken language around the globe.
|Arabic (standard)||274 million|
|German (standard)||134.6 million|
|Nigerian Pidgin||120.7 million|
- Around 372.9 million people use English as their first language, while 1.080 billion people use it as a second language.
- Mandarin Chinese is used by 198.7 million people as their second language, while Hindi is used by 258.3 million people as their second language.
You can take a look at the following table to learn more about various languages used as a first and second language by the world population.
|Language||Number of People Speaking It As The first Language||Number of People Speaking It As a Second language.||Total Speakers|
|English||372.9 million||1.080 billion||1.452 billion|
|Mandarin Chinese||929.0 million||198.7 million||1.118 billion|
|Hindi||343.9 million||258.3 million||602.2 million|
|Spanish||474.7 million||73.6 million||548.3 million|
|French||79.9 million||194.2 million||274.1 million|
|Modern Standard Arabic||0||274.0 million||274.0 million|
|Bengali||233.7 million||39.0 million||272.7 million|
|Russian||154.0 million||104.1 million||258.2 million|
|Portuguese||232.4 million||25.2 million||257.7 million|
|Urdu||70.2 million||161.0 million||231.3 million|
|Indonesian||43.6 million||155.4 million||199.0 million|
|Standard German||75.6 million||59.1 million||134.6 million|
|Japanese||125.3 million||0.1 million||125.4 million|
|Nigerian Pidgin||4.7 million||116.0 million||120.7 million|
|Marathi||83.1 million||16.0 million||99.1 million|
|Telugu||82.7 million||13.0 million||95.7 million|
|Turkish||82.2 million||5.9 million||88.1 million|
|Tamil||78.4 million||8.0 million||86.4 million|
|Yue Chinese||85.2 million||0.4 million||85.6 million|
|Vietnamese||84.6 million||0.7 million||85.3 million|
|Tagalog||28.2 million||54.2 million||82.3 million|
|Wu Chinese||81.7 million||0.1 million||81.8 million|
|Iranian Persian||56.4 million||21.0 million||77.4 million|
|Hausa||50.8 million||21.0 million||77.1 million|
|Egyptian Spoken Arabic||NA||NA||74.8 million|
|Swahili||16.1 million||55.4 million||71.4 million|
|Italian||64.8 million||3.1 million||67.9 million|
|Western Punjabi||NA||NA||66.4 million|
|Kannada||48.6 million||15.4 million||64.0 million|
|Gujarati||57.0 million||5.0 million||62.0 million|
|Thai||20.7 million||40.0 million||60.7 million|
|Amharic||32.4 million||25.1 million||57.5 million|
|Bhojpuri||52.3 million||0.2 million||52.5 million|
|Eastern Punjabi||48.1 million||3.6 million||51.7 million|
|Min Nan Chinese||49.3 million||0.4 million||49.7 million|
|Jin Chinese||NA||NA||47.1 million|
|Yoruba||43.6 million||2.0 million||45.6 million|
|Hakka Chinese||43.8 million||0.2 million||44.1 million|
|Burmese||33.0 million||10.0 million||43.0 million|
|Sudanese Spoken Arabic||33.3 million||9.0 million||42.3 million|
|Polish||38.7 million||0.7 million||40.6 million|
|Algerian Spoken Arabic.||34.7 million||5.6 million||40.3 million|
|Lingala.||20.3 million||20.0 million||40.3 million|
How Many People Speak More Than One Language?
A maximum population in recent years spoke only one language. However, most people today are curious to learn foreign languages, while due to settling in different countries, many people are bilingual and trilingual.
- More than 1,090,951,810 people speak Mandarin Chinese as their first or second language.
- English is spoken by more than 942,533,930 people as their first or second language.
- 34 varieties of Arabic are spoken by more than 206,000,000 people around the world.
- More than 129,601,230 people speak German as their second or first language.
- Approximately 3.3 billion people in the world are bilingual.
- 43% of the world’s population speaks two or more languages.
- Indonesia comprises more than 200 million bilingual people
- 17% population of the world is multilingual.
Which Are The Top First Languages Used By People Around The Globe?
People with different cultures and ethnicity speak different languages. The first language of the population may vary from region to region. Surprisingly English is not the first language spoken by the maximum population around the globe. Then which language is the top first language?
Check out the following section to find the answer.
- More than 920 million people around the globe speak Mandarin Chinese as their first language.
- Spanish is the first language spoken by more than 475 million people, while English is spoken by 373 million people as their first language.
- Hindi (excluding Urdu)is reportedly spoken by 344 million people as their first language.
The following table includes the languages that are spoken as first languages.
|Language||Number of People Speaking As The First Language|
|Mandarin Chinese||920 million|
|Yue Chinese(including Cantonese)||85.2 million|
|Wu Chinese (including Shanghainese)||81.8 million|
|Standard German||75.6 million|
|Egyptian Spoken Arabic||74.8 million|
|Western Punjabi||66.4 million|
|Iranian Persian||56.4 million|
- 1.7% of the people speak Japanese as their first language.
- 12.3% of the people in the globe speak Mandarin Chinese.
The following table displays the percentage of people that speak the below languages as their first language.
|Rank||Language||Percentage Of The Population In The World Speaking The Language.|
Which Languages Are Most Used On the Internet?
The Internet is full of different languages. Most people prefer English to surf the internet, and very few people prefer other languages. Here are a few astonishing figures related to the languages used on the internet.
- 58.6% of websites use the English language.
- Russian is the second most used language on the websites. It is used by 5.3% of websites around the world.
- The second and third most used languages on the websites are Spanish and French, respectively.
The following table displays the percentage of top languages used by websites on the internet.
|Rank||Language||Percentage of Users|
- All other languages are used in less than 0.5% of the websites on the internet.
- Some websites contain content in multiple languages.
- 66% of the content on YouTube is in the English language.
- The Spanish language is used by 15% of the content creators on YouTube.
- 7% of the content on YouTube is in Portuguese, while 5% is in Hindi.
The following table represents the languages used by the content creator on YouTube.
- 25.9% of internet users use the English language to browse the internet.
- The Chinese language is used by 19.4% of internet users.
- Spanish and Arabic are the third and fourth most used languages by internet users.
How Many People Want To Learn Other Languages?
With the growing inquisitiveness towards foreign languages, most people are working on learning a new language. Primarily the young population is attracted to learning another language. Let us take a look at the latest trends associated with people who wish to learn a new language.
- Only 20% of the students have enrolled in language classes in the United States.
- 92% of the students in Europe have enrolled in language classes.
- 70% of students aged between 12 to 24 years wish to learn a new language in the future in the United Kingdom.
- In China, 67% of the students reported that they studied foreign languages in school.
- Only 13% of the people studied a new language.
- People who know more than one language can earn 2 to 15% more.
- 12.49 billion dollars is the worth of the online language learning market.
- Around 1.2 billion people are learning a new language.
What Countries Have The Most Languages?
Many countries around the world consist of people that speak multiple languages.
Papua New Guinea tops the list of the countries where most languages are spoken. Let us take a look at the countries having multiple native languages.
- There are more than 800 languages spoken in Papua New Guinea. It has the most languages in the world.
- Around 700 languages are spoken in Indonesia.
- The following table displays the top 10 countries with the most languages.
|Rank||Country||Number of Languages Spoken|
|1||Papua New Guinea||840|
- Zimbabwe won the Guinness World record for having 16 official languages in the year 2013.
- 19,500 languages and dialects are spoken in India. But only 18 of them are recognized by the constitution.
- There are 35 different native languages in South Africa. Out of these, only 10 of them gained recognition as the official languages.
- Singapore has four official languages.
How Many Languages Are Endangered?
Since ancient times many languages have become extinct. The languages with no of their alphabets or wording are lost forever. Besides, some major languages were left behind by the changing societies and cultures.
3,045 languages are reported to be endangered today. That counts up to approximately 42% of the languages in the world. They have a low possibility of being preserved in the future. 50 to 90% of the dying languages may vanish by the next century.
Currently, 573 known languages have become extinct. These are no longer studied or spoken. Between the years 1950 and 2010, 230 languages were declared extinct.
Is Learning Other Languages Beneficial?
The United States is one of the major attractions for tourists and travelers around the globe. This has led to various job openings in the travel and tourism sector for people who can speak more than one language.
Furthermore, there has been an increase in foreign investments in the US and the expansion of US businesses in other countries. Candidates that know other languages will surely be benefitted when applying for job roles that require interaction with people who speak other languages.
Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Language Learning Trends
Due to the availability of plenty of time during the lockdown period, most people redirected their interest toward learning a new language. There was a 27% increase in search intent to learn a new language in the year 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, people soon lost interest and switched to other trends during the lockdown.
People’s interest in learning a new language in the year 2022 declined rapidly. It was found that compared to the last 5 years, people were least interested to learn a new language in the year 2022.
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Wrapping Up: Language Statistics (2023)
The language learning market is expected to have a 20.3% compound annual growth rate(CAGR) from the year 2023. These figures draw our attention to the fact that more people are attracted to learning a new language.
Knowing more than one language opens many new opportunities for learners. Many foreign language speakers enthusiastically enter the travel and tourism industry, while some are in foreign trade. Moreover, learning new languages as a recreational activity will surely open new doors for you.
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