JUST IN: 10 Most Proficient English-Speaking Countries in The World

10 Most Proficient English-Speaking Countries in The World

The English language, 's official language, is spoken by nearly 1.5 billion people worldwide. Of these, 400 million speak it as a primary language, while over 1 billion use it as their secondary means of communication.

If the number of native and non-native speakers were combined, English would be the most widely adopted and spoken universal language.

Although English is Nigeria's official language, Nigerians still need proficiency tests to be admitted into foreign varsities
Source: Getty Images

The universal adoption of English can be traced back to the origins of Great Britain and the British Empire during the colonial era. systems, businesses, and other establishments of the British colonial masters operated in English.

This resulted in most of the colonies, including Nigeria, adopting the language as their official language after independence.

In total, 67 different sovereign nations acknowledge English as their official language. It is also the language of significant non-sovereign bodies in the , including the United Nations, NATO, and the European Union.

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Ranking Methodology

The method devised in this ranking is based on data obtained from trusted and reliable sources such as Berlitz and WorldData. These sources contain information concerning the number of English-speaking individuals across countries of the world.

Additionally, 2023 English proficiency data was referenced to further authenticate the information.

Below is the list of the 10 most fluent English-speaking countries in the world:

10. Guyana

Percentage of the population that speaks English: 90.55%

Guyana remains the only South American state where English is the official language, thanks to British colonisation. With over 90% of the country's population speaking the language, the country is among the top English-speaking nations in the world.

9. Netherlands

Percentage of the population that speaks English: 90.9%

It may be surprising, but the Netherlands is one of the countries populated with English-savvy citizens. Analysts have attributed this surprising fact to the similarity between the local Dutch and English languages, plus the country's dependence on international trade. Today in the Netherlands, schools at all levels – elementary, secondary, and tertiary – have started adopting English as their language of instruction.

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8. Australia

Percentage of the population that speaks English: 92.8%

The arrival of the British colonial masters in Australia as far back as 1788 was the turning point in language adoption in the region. The British introduced English to the area, and with time, it has almost entirely replaced the indigenous local languages. However, even with 72% of the population speaking English as their first language, the law of the land still doesn't recognise it as the official language.


Percentage of the population that speaks English: 95.5%

American English is a variant of British English. It is the default language of American-produced computer systems, mobile phones, and TV shows. With time, the prominence of American English has continued to soar.

6. Singapore

Percentage of the population that speaks English: 96.43%

Singapore has four official languages backed by the country's law, including English, Mandarin , Tamil, and Malay. Mandarin Chinese used to be the country's widely spoken language until authorities made a shift by recognising English as the primary language of instruction for major school subjects like mathematics, history, and science. The country now ranks second out of 113 countries that have demonstrated remarkably high proficiency in English.

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Percentage of the population that speaks English: 97.64%

The country was colonised by the British and had English as its most widely spoken language. The immigration of Irish people to the country, which now constitutes the second-largest ethnic group in the country, has introduced another different accent into the country.

4. New Zealand

Percentage of the population that speaks English: 97.82%

English may be the de facto official language of New Zealand, but it is not recognised among the country's two official languages backed by law. The English spoken in New Zealand is majorly different from the English spoken by the Americans and the British in intonation, pronunciation, and vocabulary. The closest to New Zealand English is Australian English.

3. Iceland

Percentage of the population that speaks English: 98%

While the country's law recognises Icelandic as the nation's official language, the majority of the population is highly proficient in English. The widespread use of the language can be attributed to the active efforts of the government to teach the language as the secondary and tertiary language in schools, alongside Scandinavian and Danish languages.

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Percentage of the population that speaks English: 98%

While being the architect of language frameworks of most of the world's nations, the United Kingdom has 14 native languages spoken across its vast population. However, English stands out as the most commonly spoken language that one would hardly hear a whisper of another.

1. Ireland

Percentage of the population that speaks English: 98.37%

Ireland's laws recognise two languages as their official languages: English and Irish. However, English is the most widely spoken language, and it is the language used for printed material and official communications.

Source: Henzodaily.ng

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