English Speaking Countries 2021

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Population

What countries speak English?

English is a West Germanic language. It has the largest number of speakers worldwide and is the third most spoken native language, behind Mandarin and Spanish. English gained traction around the world during the 17th century due to the influence of the British Empire and the United States, and English has become the leading language of international discourse.

Braj Kachru developed the three circles model to describe the spread of English and distinguish countries that speak English. In this model, the inner circle comprises countries with large communities of native English speakers. The outer circle comprises countries with small communities of native English speakers and widespread use of English as a second language. The expanding circle comprises countries where many people have learned or are learning English as a foreign language.

Many countries have English designated as the de jure official language, meaning it is legally recognized as the official language. In some cases, English may be the official language but may not be the primary language. This means that English can be used in business, education, and official documents but may not be the majority of its residents' primary language. This is the case for nations like India and Pakistan.

India is the most populous nation with English as its official language, with over 1 billion people. The smallest nation where English is an official language is Niue, which has a population of just 1,600 people.

There are also nations where English is a de facto national language, meaning that it exists in reality and is practiced, even though it is not officially recognized by law. For example, the United States has no official language at the federal level, even though English is the most commonly spoken language.

Of the nations where English is a de facto national language, the United States is the most populous with an estimated 330 million people. There are four nations where English is the de facto language and the primary language. These include Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

English Speaking Countries 2021

Rank Country 2021 Population
1India1,393,409,038
2United States332,915,073
3Pakistan225,199,937
4Nigeria211,400,708
5Bangladesh166,303,498
6Ethiopia117,876,227
7Philippines111,046,913
8United Kingdom68,207,116
9Tanzania61,498,437
10South Africa60,041,994
11Kenya54,985,698
12Myanmar54,806,012
13Uganda47,123,531
14Sudan44,909,353
15Canada38,067,903
16Malaysia32,776,194
17Ghana31,732,129
18Nepal29,674,920
19Cameroon27,224,265
20Australia25,788,215
21Sri Lanka21,497,310
22Malawi19,647,684
23Zambia18,920,651
24Zimbabwe15,092,171
25Rwanda13,276,513
26Burundi12,255,433
27South Sudan11,381,378
28Jordan10,269,021
29United Arab Emirates9,991,089
30Papua New Guinea9,119,010
31Israel8,789,774
32Sierra Leone8,141,343
33Singapore5,896,686
34Liberia5,180,203
35Ireland4,982,907
36New Zealand4,860,643
37Kuwait4,328,550
38Eritrea3,601,467
39Jamaica2,973,463
40Qatar2,930,528
41Namibia2,587,344
42Gambia2,486,945
43Botswana2,397,241
44Lesotho2,159,079
45Bahrain1,748,296
46Trinidad And Tobago1,403,375
47Mauritius1,273,433
48Cyprus1,215,584
49Eswatini1,172,362
50Fiji902,906
51Guyana790,326
52Solomon Islands703,996
53Maldives543,617
54Malta442,784
55Brunei441,532
56Belize404,914
57Bahamas396,913
58Vanuatu314,464
59Barbados287,711
60Samoa200,149
61Saint Lucia184,400
62Kiribati121,392
63Micronesia116,254
64Grenada113,021
65Saint Vincent And The Grenadines111,263
66Tonga106,760
67Seychelles98,908
68Antigua And Barbuda98,731
69Dominica72,167
70Marshall Islands59,610
71Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544
72Palau18,169
73Cook Islands17,565
74Tuvalu11,931
75Nauru10,876
76Niue1,619

English Speaking Countries 2021