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Total Living Languages

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Average Number of Languages Spoken by Country 2024

Most people associate the United States with very little linguistic diversity. It is true that citizens of the United States tend to speak only one language: English. Furthermore, there are some people in the United States who have a difficult time understanding English if it is spoken by someone with a thick accent. On the other hand, there are lots of people who live in the United States to speak a second language, such as Spanish or French. The people who speak a second language are not necessarily citizens of the United States. Therefore, they are often overlooked. Some of the most common second languages you will hear in the United States include Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and French.

Country
Total Living Languages
Papua New Guinea840
Indonesia710
Nigeria524
India453
United States335
Australia319
China305
Mexico292
Cameroon275
Brazil228

How Many Languages Do People in Europe Speak?

People who live in Europe can often speak a wide variety of languages; however, it depends on where someone lives in Europe. For example, people who live in the United Kingdom, including England and Ireland, tend to speak only one language. Similar to people from the United States, they usually only speak English; however, people who live in Mainland Europe can often speak more than one language.

For example, people who live in Spain or France can often speak both Spanish and French; however, sometimes, they can only understand it, not necessarily speak it. There are a lot of similarities between the two languages, but people cannot always speak both of them.

In smaller countries in Mainland Europe, people can often speak a handful of languages. For example, people who live in Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium can often speak three languages. They probably know English, their native language, and either French or Spanish. The same is true of people who live in Scandinavian countries. These include Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. People who live in these countries can often speak a handful of languages as well.

How Many Languages Do People in China Speak?

People who live in China can often speak at least two languages, sometimes more. The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese, often known as Han Chinese, but there are numerous dialects of Chinese that many people can also speak. Some people do not consider these to be different languages, but they are distinct from one another. Therefore, they should be considered different languages.

For example, there are a lot of people who live in China who can speak not only Han Chinese but also Cantonese. Cantonese is more common in the Southeastern areas of China, but most people who live in China can also understand Cantonese, and they might be able to speak it themselves.

Finally, people who live in China can also speak English. Not everyone who lives in China can speak English, but the farther south you go, the more people speak English. For example, everyone who lives in Hong Kong speaks English, as the island was once owned by the British.

Language is the number one way that people are able to communicate. It can be very hard to converse and engage with other people when language barriers are in place. It’s not impossible to interact with those who speak a different language than you, but the difficulty is still very present.

Languages have evolved over time, as they have always been affected by situations like colonization or immigration. Different regions of the world adhere to their own languages and ways of life, which is incredible because without these distinct differences, everyone would be the same and there would be no reason to explore countries outside of our home nation.

Interestingly enough, English is the most spoken language across the globe in terms of the current number of people who speak the language, whether it be fluently or not. However, despite English being the most popular language around the world, it is not the language that holds the record for highest number of native speakers.

English has expanded beyond England and come to be recognized as the official language of many nations around the world. So, while more people speak English than any other language, know that many people adopted the language into their lives since it is so common rather than speaking English as part of their culture.

The top ten most spoken languages in the world today are:

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish
  • English
  • French
  • Hindustanti
  • Arabic
  • Portuguese
  • Bengali
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Punjabi

In Europe, for example, there are only two hundred thirty languages in total across all European countries. Asia, on the other hand, is home to approximately two thousand one hundred ninety-seven languages, which goes to show that the total area of a country or continent matters less in terms of how many languages there are.

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Country
Total Living Languages
Languages Spoken by Typical Resident
Established Living Languages
Immigrant Living Languages
% of World's Living Languages
Total Speakers
Mean Speakers
Median Speakers
Papua New Guinea84084011.81%4.2M5,0401,315
Indonesia71070739.98%222.2M315,1653,500
Nigeria52451777.37%163.3M348,22514,000
India45344766.37%1.3B2,924,23735,000
United States3352191164.71%326.8M999,25612
Australia319226934.49%22.7M72,50410
China30530234.29%1.3B4,472,60827,700
Mexico29228754.11%125.5M435,8864,730
Cameroon27527413.87%10.2M38,45110,000
Brazil228217113.21%204.7M934,490210
DR Congo21421223.01%42.1M209,59329,450
Canada19596992.74%33.4M174,672260
Philippines19118382.69%70.8M386,75719,200
Russia159115442.24%138.7M900,6393,900
Malaysia144133112.03%22.2M205,9453,400
Chad13113011.84%8.9M74,50014,000
Nepal12912271.81%26.6M212,9038,385
Tanzania12612511.77%51.1M422,381102,500
Myanmar12612061.77%49.3M397,45215,000
Vanuatu11611061.63%196.3K1,722665
Vietnam11210931.58%86.9M835,42814,900
Ivory Coast10186151.42%18.4M209,53834,150
Germany952.025701.34%88.6M1,107,14680,000
France951.822731.42%70M1,793,895126,000
Peru949311.32%31M336,8934,635
Laos928571.29%6.5M76,9829,710
Ethiopia919011.28%66.8M750,18848,000
Colombia898541.25%47.7M560,866885
Thailand8873151.24%53.4M675,4178,000
Ghana878161.22%27.7M359,23636,000
Pakistan8574111.2%202M2,524,97853,250
United Kingdom851.613721.2%61.5M799,30816,700
Iran847951.18%82.9M1,256,47862,000
Central African Republic8372111.17%3.6M47,24917,350
Sudan767511.07%35.1M516,04713,000
Kenya726751.01%37M544,676180,000
Solomon Islands72721.01%380K5,3522,770
Mali716831%13M194,44525,000
Burkina Faso71711%12.5M183,42520,500
South Sudan69690.97%4.5M80,44027,500
New Zealand654610.91%4.7M73,534148,000
Benin565510.79%9.6M177,88164,000
Zambia554690.77%11.4M236,76832,850
Turkey5439150.76%90.3M2,149,93366,000
Israel5336170.75%9.5M205,98842,500
Netherlands503.215350.7%21.9M487,727220,000
Ukraine4821270.68%40.6M882,60450,400
Venezuela484260.68%31.1M777,179770
Kazakhstan4813350.68%15.3M356,01995,000
Italy471.835120.66%82.3M1,870,889100,000
Angola474610.66%24.3M528,01730,000
Mozambique474340.66%23.8M517,220197,500
Norway4711360.66%5.7M127,7001,000
Senegal463880.65%14M310,62220,000
Togo464420.65%4.9M113,70734,300
Bangladesh454140.63%165.2M3,842,33315,500
Uganda454320.63%33.9M769,599303,000
Bolivia454320.63%7.3M170,916350
Gabon444310.62%1.1M25,0694,000
South Africa4230120.59%51M1,416,803133,500
Afghanistan424110.59%23.4M569,56816,500
Argentina4024160.56%46.2M1,318,8615,120
Guinea403730.56%11.6M341,20425,000
New Caledonia403820.56%143K3,972950
Denmark392.85340.55%5.9M151,90323,100
Azerbaijan3818200.53%9.3M257,80211,700
Finland382.613250.53%5.8M153,1305,170
Botswana383170.53%2.2M63,2475,950
Uzbekistan3711260.52%30.9M937,242250,000
Sweden372.515220.52%10.3M295,0034,000
Belgium362.612240.51%13.7M506,896200,000
Austria362.215210.51%9.5M316,34832,750
Taiwan3523120.49%24M726,8384,000
Spain341.717170.48%52.4M1,691,59772,500
Greece341.820140.48%11.7M377,2099,700
Liberia343130.48%4.3M134,08585,600
Tajikistan3313200.46%7.6M303,20827,500
Switzerland3313200.46%9M320,72240,000
Kyrgyzstan336270.46%5.8M215,777290,650
Namibia332760.46%2.7M83,40413,800
Turkmenistan316250.44%5.3M176,682256,900
Singapore312470.44%6.1M226,12515,200
Oman3117140.44%4.2M151,28642,400
Bhutan312380.44%639.5K25,5808,000
Romania291.82630.41%20.5M975,83017,850
Cambodia292720.41%16.3M583,0895,210
Libya299200.41%6.3M234,17821,000
Iraq272340.38%34M1,477,288136,000
Poland271.62250.38%37.5M1,498,40012,800
Guatemala27270.38%14.7M544,76328,000
United Arab Emirates2710170.38%9.3M370,656370,000
Paraguay272340.38%6.6M255,1232,530
Croatia2716110.38%4.3M180,56610,200
Georgia272070.38%4.5M173,31614,000
Suriname272160.38%562K22,4811,250
Czech Republic261.811150.37%10.8M415,46510,000
Sierra Leone262420.37%7M290,715138,000
Saudi Arabia257180.35%18.8M852,874500,000
Bulgaria251.713120.35%7.8M356,0715,310
Syria241770.34%18.7M850,38364,900
Malawi241770.34%13M813,500200,000
Ecuador24240.34%16.7M694,40611,000
Zimbabwe242220.34%11.9M596,322145,000
Serbia241770.34%8.8M420,50534,000
Gambia2411130.34%1.3M69,20143,650
Egypt231670.32%94.6M5,255,544752,000
Niger23230.32%15.8M718,65928,450
Portugal231.810130.32%10.3M446,05415,000
Algeria221840.31%38.5M1,927,40840,000
Hungary211.51830.3%9.9M583,9713,710
Fiji2110110.3%840.9K64,6856,950
Madagascar201460.28%18.4M1,020,4441,130,000
Estonia202.77130.28%1.5M85,65344,250
Japan191540.27%129.4M8,627,6585,050
Micronesia191810.27%111K6,1671,410
Panama181440.25%4.3M327,37222,500
Qatar183150.25%2.5M149,293486,000
Guyana181620.25%1.3M109,9201,500
Yemen171160.24%26.8M1,915,02162,900
Chile171160.24%17.4M1,741,20110,000
Eritrea171520.24%5.8M526,236194,000
Brunei171520.24%459.7K28,7308,150
Lebanon16790.23%6.6M471,708294,000
Latvia162.7880.23%2.3M164,6528,000
Equatorial Guinea161420.23%699.1K58,2627,000
Cyprus162.15110.23%1.5M110,12134,800
Luxembourg163.64120.23%499.3K31,20366,100
French Guiana161330.23%178.8K14,8982,400
Morocco151410.21%39.3M3,571,90280,000
Tunisia15780.21%11.6M827,29334,650
Slovakia152.51230.21%5.5M460,41625,100
Lithuania152.71140.21%3.6M274,8637,555
Slovenia153.01140.21%2.1M191,2698,700
Somalia141310.2%9.9M828,22220,000
Jordan141130.2%7.6M841,42294,500
Mongolia141220.2%3.1M345,90042,500
Uruguay14590.2%3.6M398,78325,500
Moldova141040.2%2.7M339,816107,000
Armenia14860.2%3M276,0168,850
Bahrain14680.2%1.3M97,192144,000
Mauritius14770.2%1.2M94,97428,550
Ireland131.6580.18%4.7M425,63827,000
Montenegro13670.18%575.3K63,92634,700
Sri Lanka12750.17%19.6M1,955,03246,000
Honduras121020.17%9M816,622990
Costa Rica121110.17%4.9M485,3292,840
Puerto Rico12480.17%3.5M353,020159,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina12570.17%3.8M341,619554,000
Albania12840.17%2.8M284,7949,820
Belize12840.17%532.2K44,34714,100
Belarus11470.15%8.9M813,3091,121,000
Hong Kong11740.15%6.9M692,975118,500
Nicaragua11110.15%6.4M582,226740
Palestine10730.14%4.3M473,157705
Djibouti10550.14%830.4K103,800125,300
French Polynesia10910.14%258K25,7963,000
Dominican Republic9450.13%10.2M1,698,917159,000
Trinidad and Tobago9720.13%2.6M328,50015,600
Guam9270.13%181.4K22,67546,750
Sint Maarten9450.13%39.9K4,4316,000
Nauru9360.13%13.5K2,2505,100
Mauritania8710.11%3.9M551,200111,150
Jamaica8440.11%2.7M448,7577,500
Reunion8350.11%656.2K93,743313,000
Malta82.7440.11%468.6K58,5819,515
Sao Tome and Principe8530.11%204.2K25,52514,700
Kuwait7340.1%3.2M637,4401,163,600
Eswatini7520.1%1.3M180,23420,000
Northern Mariana Islands7430.1%42.2K6,0264,620
American Samoa7250.1%56.1K9,34825,890
Comoros660.08%764.5K152,90040,000
Curacao6510.08%137.7K27,5348,760
Aruba6420.08%86.8K21,6987,000
United States Virgin Islands6330.08%85.8K21,4629,540
Palau6420.08%20.9K3,4782,185
South Korea5410.07%48.6M16,195,33324,202,500
Rwanda5320.07%11.1M2,224,8365,440
Cuba5320.07%11.4M3,801,1675,700,000
El Salvador550.07%6.4M2,126,0007,500
Lesotho550.07%2.2M541,000190,000
Bahamas5320.07%667.3K166,820330,000
Mayotte5320.07%211.7K52,92547,900
Andorra5410.07%73.5K18,37519,650
Dominica5320.07%45.8K15,2673,000
Liechtenstein5410.07%35.9K11,97017,750
Monaco550.07%33.9K6,7707,110
Saint Martin5320.07%28.5K5,7005,000
Cook Islands550.07%15K3,000680
Tokelau5230.07%2.4K484870
Burundi4310.06%10M2,509,0259,600
Haiti440.06%7M2,320,200600
Western Sahara4310.06%584K292,000292,000
Guadeloupe4310.06%449.3K149,767218,650
Martinique4310.06%427.3K142,443213,500
Saint Lucia4310.06%159.6K79,80079,800
Grenada440.06%107.4K35,7845,350
Jersey4310.06%99.2K33,07747,350
Tonga4310.06%105.8K26,4501,270
Antigua and Barbuda4220.06%153.8K51,26776,700
Cayman Islands4130.06%74.8K18,71050,000
Guernsey4310.06%62.7K31,36031,360
Turks and Caicos Islands4220.06%29.8K9,94714,365
Cape Verde3210.04%489.8K244,900244,900
Barbados330.04%518.3K172,763256,000
Samoa3210.04%187K62,33393,400
Kiribati3210.04%106K35,33352,750
Seychelles330.04%85.4K28,4734,590
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines330.04%138.5K46,167400
Bermuda3210.04%64.6K32,30562,000
Greenland330.04%56.2K28,10028,100
Saint Kitts and Nevis330.04%52K17,3471,000
Gibraltar3210.04%46.7K15,56721,950
Tuvalu330.04%10.1K5,0505,050
Wallis and Futuna330.04%13K4,3203,900
Niue3210.04%1.6K775775
Maldives220.03%331K331,000331,000
Iceland220.03%300.3K150,150150,150
Isle of Man220.03%88K44,00044,000
Faroe Islands220.03%48K48,00048,000
Marshall Islands220.03%65.7K32,85032,850
San Marino220.03%25K12,50012,500
British Virgin Islands220.03%39.7K19,85019,850
Anguilla220.03%12.4K6,2256,225
Montserrat220.03%3.9K1,9601,960
Falkland Islands2110.03%2.9K1,4302,610
Vatican City220.03%330165165
North Korea110.01%23.3M23,300,00023,300,000
Saint Pierre and Miquelon110.01%6K6,0006,000
showing: 228 rows

In what country does the average person speak the most languages?

There are many countries in Europe, such as Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium where residents can speak three or more languages. China is also a country where the majority of people speak at least two languages, if not more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources