English-speaking world

Nations in which English is an official language (de facto or de jure). Anglosphere countries are a subset of those where English is the main native language.
  Official as majority language
  Official as minority language
  Co-official as majority language
  Co-official as minority language
  Unofficial[clarification needed]
  Not official as majority language
  Not official as minority language
The term "majority language" is here defined as a language of which more than 50% of the population have some command. It does not mean that this command is native, nor that English is the most widely used language of the respective country.

Over 2 billion people speak English,[1][2] making English the largest language by number of speakers,[3][circular reference] and the third largest language by number of native speakers. With 300 million native speakers, the United States of America is the largest English speaking country. As pictured in the pie graph below, most native speakers of English are Americans.

Additionally, there are 60 million native speakers in the United Kingdom, 29 million in Canada, 25.1 million in Australia,[citation needed] 4.7 million in the Republic of Ireland, and 4.9 million in New Zealand.

In the European Union, English is one of 24 official languages and is widely used by institutions, and by a majority of the population as the native language in the United Kingdom and Ireland and as a second language in other member states.

Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion.[4] David Crystal calculates that, as of 2003, non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3 to 1.[5] When combining native and non-native speakers, English is the most widely spoken language worldwide.

Besides the major varieties of English, such as British English, American English, Canadian English, Australian English, Irish English, New Zealand English and their sub-varieties, countries such as South Africa, India, the Philippines, Jamaica and Nigeria also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from English-based creole languages to Standard English. Other countries such as Ghana and Uganda also use English as their primary official languages.

India now claims to be the world's second-largest English-speaking country. The most reliable estimate is around 10% of its population or 125 million people, second only to the US and expected to quadruple in the next decade from 2012.[6]

Majority English-speaking countries

Map highlighting countries where English is spoken natively by the majority of the population.
  The Anglosphere - Countries where English is spoken natively by the majority of the population.

There are six large countries with a majority of native English speakers that are sometimes grouped under the term Anglosphere. In numbers of English speakers they are: the United States of America (at least 231 million),[7] the United Kingdom (in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) (60 million),[8][9][10] Canada (at least 20 million),[11] Australia (at least 17 million),[12] Republic of Ireland (4.8 million) and New Zealand (4.8 million).[13]

Pie chart showing the percentage of native English speakers living in "inner circle" English-speaking countries. Native speakers are now substantially outnumbered worldwide by second-language speakers of English (not counted in this chart[14]).

  United States (64%)
  United Kingdom (16.6%)
  Canada (5.3%)
  Australia (4.7%)
  South Africa (1.3%)
  Ireland (1.3%)
  New Zealand (1.3%)
  Other (5.5%)

English is also the primary natively spoken language in the countries and territories of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey, Guyana, the Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Another substantial community of native speakers is found in South Africa (4.8 million).[15]

Other Languages