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The chart below (all figures in millions) illustrates a comparison between English as a first language and English as a second language in the world’s top-ten English-speaking countries.

Absent from the list is China; however, according to HSBC Bank:

“There are five times more people learning English in China than there are people in England.”

“The predominance of the English language on almost every level of international communication is well established and rather a constructive factor than a negative phenomenon....the English language has become the international communication solution and this will not be reversed.”    

The Sunday Times   

“English is a tool, just like a piece of technology. Much of the world’s economy is tied up in English-speaking countries and for that reason, English is like a cell phone provider offering the best plan.”                   

John Hayden, President, Versitation

“It’s clear that globalization is making English especially important not just in universities, but in areas such as computing, diplomacy, medicine, shipping, and entertainment. No language is currently being learned by more people — there may soon be 2 billion actively doing so — and the desire to learn it reflects a desire to be plugged into a kind of “‘world brain’.”  

Henry Hitchens, author           


There are now more nonnative English speakers than native English speakers.        Freakanomics

United States: 267 million

India: 127 million

Pakistan: 89 million

Nigeria: 79 million

Philippines: 76 million

United Kingdom: 60 million

Germany: 46 million

Bangladesh: 29 million

Egypt: 28 million

Canada: 25 million