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Dutch Speaking Countries 2024

There are approximately 22 million Dutch speakers located around the world. When adding in the people that speak Dutch as a second language, this number rises to about 28 million, per 2018 estimates. Dutch is one of the Germanic languages, and it is the third most widely spoken in the world, falling behind English and German.

In the Netherlands, where it is the official language, the majority of people speak Dutch. About 60% of the people in Belgium also speak Dutch, which is one of the nation’s three official languages.

There are a total of six nations that have Dutch as their official language. In alphabetical order, these nations are: Aruba, Belgium, Curacao, Netherlands, Sint Maarten and Suriname. Dutch is also the official language in the regions of Benelux, European Union, South American Union and Caricom.

Even though it isn’t an official language elsewhere, Dutch is still spoken in other regions and countries worldwide. In Germany and France, there is a minority group of Dutch speakers. In the United States, Australia and Canada, there are about half a million speakers of this language. Dutch has also influenced other languages. The Cape Dutch of Southern Africa has become Afrikaans, a daughter language to Dutch. This is spoken by more than 16 million people throughout Namibia and South Africa.

Notes:
- In some African countries, the official language is not traditional Dutch, but Afrikaans.
- Afrikaans began as Dutch, introduced to Africa by Dutch settlers in the 1600s, and has since evolved into a separate language—though it still shares an estimated 90-95% of its vocabulary with Dutch.
- To some linguists, this makes South Africa a Dutch-speaking country. To others, it does not.

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Country
Dutch Speaking
Form
Language Status
Primary Language Speakers
Secondary Language Speakers
NetherlandsYesDutchOfficial16,431,360687,000
BelgiumYesDutchCo-official (w French, German)6,215,0001,469,000
SurinameYesDutchOfficial (w 8 recognized indigenous)325,000215,000
CuracaoYesDutchCo-official (w English, Papamiento)
ArubaYesDutchCo-official (w Papiamento)
Sint MaartenYesDutchCo-official (w English)
South AfricaDebatableAfrikaansCo-official (one of 12)6,860,00010,300,000
NamibiaDebatableAfrikaansRecognized (English is official)220,000
showing: 8 rows

How many countries speak Dutch?

Six countries speak Dutch, including Aruba, Belgium, Curacao, Netherlands, Sint Maarten, and Suriname.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources