More than most languages
English, as a language, is the de facto lingua franca of the world. In the fields of business, academics, science, computing, education, transportation, politics and entertainment, English is the language of choice. No less than 85% of international organizations have English as at least one of their official languages with French second at about 50%. One third of all international organizations use only English to conduct business (including OPEC, EFTA, and ASEAN).
The countries with the most English speakers are:
1. United States of America. Some 225 million Americans speak English as a first language while 43 million speak it as a second language.
2. India. 125 million but only 226,449 speak it as a first language.
3. Pakistan, around 49% or 94,321,604, of the population but as a second language.
4. Philippines, 37,000 Filipinos speak English as a first language. However, 92% of the population can speak it as a second language. That comes to 90 million English speakers.
5. Nigeria. 79 million people or 53% of the population.
6. And then only the United Kingdom where 98% of people in the UK speak English. This amounts to about 59.6 million speakers.
The top 5 countries with the highest proficiency in the English language as a second language are:
1. Netherlands, 15 million or 90 percent of the population.
2. Denmark, 4.8 million or 91% of the population.
3. Sweden, 8.2 million or 90% of the population.
4. Norway, 4.5 million or 90% of the population.
5. Finland, 3.8 million or 70% of the population.
Countries that have English as an official language account for 112 nations. More than 840 million people speak English in some form or another. It is truly global in scale. It stands to reason then that the ability to speak English is important no matter where you are. The countries rated as moderate English speakers are France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Brazil (low), and Colombia (low). There cannot be any doubts on the importance of English.
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