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% French Speakers












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French Speaking Countries 2024 | Francophone Countries

French is a spoken and written language that originated in what is now the country of France and is currently the fifth-most-spoken language in the world behind English, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish. French is one of six working languages of the United Nations (along with Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, and Spanish), one of three procedural languages of the European Union (along English and German), and the sole language used during deliberations in the EU's Court of Justice of the European Union.

Which countries speak French?

French is an official language in 29 countries, and is the sole official language in 13 of the 29. In the remaining 16 countries, French shares official status with one or more other languages, which may include German, Dutch, English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Swahili, Creole, or additional local languages.

Countries in Which French is the Sole Official Language:

Benin ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏDR Congo ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉFrance ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ทFrench Guiana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ซFrench Polynesia ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ซGabon ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆGuadeloupe ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ตGuinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณIvory Coast ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎMartinique ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ถMayotte ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡นMonaco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จNew Caledonia ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡จNiger ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ชRepublic of the Congo ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฌReunion ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ชSaint Barthelemy ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฑSaint Martin ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ซSaint Pierre and Miquelon ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฒSenegal ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณTogo ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌWallis and Futuna ๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ซ

Countries in Which French is a Co-Official Language:

Belgium ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ชBurundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎCameroon ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒCanada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆCentral African Republic ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ซChad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉComoros ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒDjibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏEquatorial Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ถHaiti ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡นJersey ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ชLuxembourg ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บMadagascar ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌRwanda ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผSeychelles ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จSwitzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญVanuatu ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บ

Ironically, the most populous country in which French is an official language is not France, but the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, followed by France and Canada. French is also the official language of several (mostly French) dependent territories, the most populous of which is French Polynesia (population 267,000). Finally, French is recognized as a cultural language in the US states Maine and Louisiana, where it may be used for education, commerce, and government services.

Linguistically, French is an Indo-European Romance language with roots tracing back to the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire. French speaking people and countries are often referred to as Francophones in both French and English. According to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the Earth is home to approximately 321 million Francophones. Similar estimates indicate that French is used by at least 76 million native speakers as well as 235 million fluent daily speakers and another 77-110 users for whom French is a secondary language.

  • In some countries, such as Burkina Faso, French is "working language" that is used on government documents and in other official capacity, but may not be widely spoken. English and French are the two most common working languages globally.

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Country Status
French Language Status
% French Speakers
Saint Pierre and MiquelonFrench territorySole Official100%
French PolynesiaFrench territorySole Official99.5%
Saint MartinFrench territorySole Official98.5%
MonacocountrySole Official97.5%
FrancecountrySole Official96.9%
Saint BarthelemyFrench territorySole Official90%
ReunionFrench overseas regionSole Official87.8%
GuadeloupeFrench overseas regionSole Official87.5%
MartiniqueFrench overseas regionSole Official83.1%
Wallis and FutunaFrench territorySole Official77.9%
MauritiuscountryNot Offical72.6%
AndorracountryNot Offical70.1%
New CaledoniaFrench territorySole Official66.6%
French GuianaFrench overseas regionSole Official66.2%
GaboncountrySole Official65.1%
Republic of the CongocountrySole Official60.7%
TunisiacountryNot Offical52.5%
MayotteFrench overseas regionSole Official51.8%
DR CongocountrySole Official51.4%
TogocountrySole Official40.9%
LebanoncountryNot Offical38%
MoroccocountryNot Offical35.6%
BenincountrySole Official33.7%
Ivory CoastcountrySole Official33.6%
AlgeriacountryNot Offical32.9%
Equatorial GuineacountryCo-Official28.9%
Central African RepubliccountryCo-Official28.6%
GuineacountrySole Official27.2%
SenegalcountrySole Official26.3%
PortugalcountryNot Offical25.1%
Burkina FasocountryWorking24.5%
Sao Tome and PrincipecountryNot Offical20.2%
GambiacountryNot Offical20%
ItalycountryNot Offical19.6%
NetherlandscountryNot Offical19.2%
United KingdomcountryNot Offical16.5%
GermanycountryNot Offical14.7%
MauritaniacountryNot Offical13.4%
MaltacountryNot Offical13.1%
NigercountrySole Official12.9%
AustriacountryNot Offical12.9%
IrelandcountryNot Offical12.7%
RomaniacountryNot Offical12%
SpaincountryNot Offical11.7%
Cape VerdecountryNot Offical10.7%
CambodiacountryNot Offical0%
LaoscountryNot Offical0%
JerseyUK crown dependencyCo-Official0%
showing: 64 rows

How many countries speak French?

French is the official language of 13 countries, but there are also 16 countries where the language is the co-official language, as well as several territories where French is an official language.

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