World: Most Spoken Languages, by number of speakers
LanguageSpeakers,
in millions
English1,456.0
Chinese (Mandarin)1,138.0
Hindi609.5
Spanish559.1
French309.8
Arabic (standard)274.0
Bengali272.8
Portuguese263.6
Russian255.0
Urdu231.7
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 2022
  • Published: 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Dominance of English

English leads as the most spoken language worldwide, with 1456.0 million speakers, far surpassing the second-placed Chinese (Mandarin) by more than 300 million speakers.

Top Asian Languages

Chinese (Mandarin) and Hindi are the most spoken Asian languages, with 1138.0 million and 609.5 million speakers respectively, highlighting the linguistic influence of Asia's populous nations.

European Languages Worldwide

Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian represent the most spoken European languages globally, with Spanish leading at 559.1 million speakers, illustrating the global spread of European languages due to historical colonization and cultural influence.

Language Diversity in the Top 10

The top 10 most spoken languages include languages from 4 different continents, showcasing the linguistic diversity and global reach of these languages.

Close Numbers Between Arabic, Bengali, and Portuguese

Arabic (standard), Bengali, and Portuguese show closely contested speaker numbers, with 274.0 million, 272.8 million, and 263.6 million speakers respectively, indicating a tight range among languages spoken by hundreds of millions.

Languages with Over 200 Million Speakers

All languages listed have more than 200 million speakers, underscoring the significant global presence and cultural impact of these languages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most spoken language worldwide?

The most spoken language worldwide is English, with 1456.0 million speakers.

Which are the most spoken Asian languages?

The most spoken Asian languages are Chinese (Mandarin) with 1138.0 million speakers and Hindi with 609.5 million speakers.

What is the most spoken European language globally?

The most spoken European language globally is Spanish, with 559.1 million speakers.

Terms and Definitions

A system of communication which consists of a set of sounds and written symbols which are used by the people of a particular country or region for talking or writing.

The first language a person learns, usually that of their parents. It's often the language a person is most comfortable with and uses to think or dream.

Any language that a person can speak other than their first language or mother tongue.

A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. It is used for communication among people who do not share a native language or dialect.

A particular form of a language that is specific to a region or social group, characterized by its unique sounds, grammar, and vocabulary.

The language designated by a country's government to be used for political, judicial, and administrative purposes. It is usually the language used in the country's law, court, and official documents.

A group of languages related through descent from a common ancestral language or linguistic root, known as proto-language. Languages within a family show certain structural or lexical similarities.

The ability of an individual to speak or perform in a language. It can refer to the depth of vocabulary knowledge, the ability to use grammar effectively, or the degree to which a person can read, write, speak, and understand a language.

The ability to speak two languages fluently. In some context, bilingual ability also refers to the capacity to write, read, and understand two languages.
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Demography studies the characteristics of human populations, including aspects such as birth rate, death rate, migration, and how these elements can influence societal structure and development. Read more »
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