How many countries have English as their official language?
The English language has approximately 400 million native speakers worldwide, trailing only Mandarin and Spanish. However, it is also the single most popular second language. As a result, when native and non-native English speakers are combined, it is recognized as the single most widely-spoken global language.
In fact, English is recognized as an official language in a total of 67 different countries, as well as 27 non-sovereign entities. Moreover, it is a major business language, as well as the official language of a number of the world’s most important institutions, including the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.
English is perhaps most commonly associated with the United States and the United Kingdom; the two largest English speaking countries. It is believed that there are around 230 million native speakers in the United States, making it the largest English-speaking country, while the United Kingdom has approximately 60 million native speakers.
Despite having two different official languages, Canada has the third largest English-speaking population, with somewhere in the region of 20 million native speakers, while Australia is next in the list, with around 17 million.
Some of the other notable countries around the world where English is the primary language include the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand. Combined, these three countries are believed to be home to around 13 million people who speak English as their first language.