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Countries with the Most English Speakers - Photo: Studenz

Which Countries Have the Most English Speakers?

You might be searching for English-speaking countries for a few reasons. One might be that you are a novice traveler looking to dip your toe into exploring abroad and you want the comfort of your native language. Another might be to connect with more English speakers in new and different cultures. Or perhaps you’re just curious about which countries speak your language around the world.

Here is a list of the Top 9, all with more than 80% of their population speaking English!


The United States of America is the world’s largest English-speaking country. Approximately 225 million Americans speak English as a first language, while 43 million speak it as a second language. That’s a grand total of 268 million English speakers which makes the USA, a country with the largest number of English-speaking population, according to Cudoo.


India is next on the list, with 125 million English speakers. But only 226,449 of those speak it as a first language. For the rest, it’s a second language. However, as BBC reporter Zareer Masani noted in a 2012 article, the patchwork state of English education means that many Indians speak “not so much English as Hinglish’’, also known as Indian English which is a mix of English and Hindi, one of the official languages in India.


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Pakistan ranks third. Photo: Council on Foreign Relations

Surprised? English is one of Pakistan’s official languages, along with Urdu. Although nobody in Pakistan really speaks English as a first language, the Urdu language is always the preferred choice, around 49% of the population do speak it as a second language.

That accounts for almost 94,321,604 English speakers.


The Philippines has two official languages: Filipino and English. Only around 37,000 Filipinos speak English as a first language. However, a little over 92% of the population can speak it as a second language. Out of the latest Filipino population, it is estimated that there are 90 million English speakers in the island nation.


Ever wonder why so many sales emails came from Nigeria, as opposed to Kenya or Zimbabwe? There are a lot of reasons, but the relatively high percentage of English speakers is probably one of them. Around 53% of the population (79 million people) can speak English in Nigeria, and a small percentage has awesome native proficiency in the English language.


It’s about time, right? We bet you didn’t expect to find the United Kingdom so far down this list! 98% of people in the UK speak English. But the UK’s comparatively small size and population mean that larger countries like Nigeria and the Philippines actually have more English speakers. The UK has 59.6 million speakers owing to its relatively small population and that’s what makes them 6th on this list.


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Germany ranks seventh. Photo: Q Work Group

We see a lot of youngsters learning the German Language before landing in Germany. So you might have thought they don’t speak English maybe? Yes, English is not the official language, however, many Germans converse in English for business purposes and with many foreigners going there for higher studies, English has surely found its place in Germany, Icy Tales cites.

It is found that three-quarters of people know English too. Knowing the local language is absolutely good in Germany so that you understand more about their culture, and connect better with them. However, you can fill in the blanks with English to convey the information so that people understand you rightly.


The second official language in Bangladesh is English. Like how in Pakistan it’s called Paklish, here it’s called Banglish or Benglish. It’s due to the mixture of Bengali and English. Here too, the majority of people have adopted to speaking in English in combination with their local language. Though the Bengali language is given prime importance, English is taught in schools and colleges.


Canada is one place where the language of the country is English also the mother tongue of the residents. With French taking the other share of the official language. Canadian English is a blend of both American and British English, but there are certain phrases that distinct the Canadians largely. Around 86.2% of people speak English in Canada.

Some of the most common Canadian things are asking for ‘Double-double’ coffee or using ‘Eh!’ at the end of each sentence. Their accent is slightly different which sets them apart from the rest of English speakers around the world.


While quantity matters, quality also plays an essential role, especially when it comes to languages. Excluding English-speaking countries like the US and the UK (where the proficiency is naturally high), here are the top 5 countries with the highest proficiency in the English language, as reported from Travel off Path.


With 15 million English Speakers, about 90 percent of the entire population in the Netherlands speak English. It’s EPI score is 73.8, which is the highest of any country that was tested.


The Nordic countries are famous for their English speaking skills and the next four countries on this list are all from the Nordic region. First is Denmark with 4.8 million English Speakers, about 91% of the population speaks English as a second language. It has a slight edge over the other three, with an EPI score of 72.91.


Sweden has 8.2 million English speakers and almost 90% of the population speaks English as a second language. The country has an EPI score of 71.7.


There are about 4.5 million English speakers in Norway and 90% of Norwegians speak English as a second language. Their EPI score is 71.3.


Finland has 3.8 million English speakers which make up about 70% of the entire population, which speaks English as a second language. It has an EPI score of 69.2.


The Philippines is the only country to rank in the top 6 for both the numbers of English speakers and English proficiency. It has 90 million English Speakers with an EPI score of 67.4.

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