Saturday, July 04, 2009

English as an Official Language

When I went to Zambia last October, I was surprised that almost everyone there speaks English, including most of the poor rural farmers I met. It was obvious to me that although I lived in Thailand for two years as a missionary during the 1990s and gained a proficiency in the Thai language, I was able to communicate more easily in Zambia from day one since English is my native language. It opened up the idea that it may be easier for me to do business in an African country (or start a social enterprise there) than I had previously anticipated.

To open others' eyes, I'm listing all countries or territories where English is an official language, ranked by population. Note that although English is the predominant language in both the United States and Australia, apparently neither country has an official language. Click here to see a map of English speaking countries.

Population Rank / Country / Population
1 India 1,143,540,000
2 Pakistan 165,449,000
3 Bangladesh 161,300,000
4 Nigeria 148,093,000
5 Philippines 90,457,200
6 United Kingdom 61,612,300
7 South Africa 47,850,700
8 Tanzania 40,454,000
9 Sudan 38,560,000
10 Kenya 37,538,000
11 Canada 33,531,000
12 Uganda 30,884,000
13 Ghana 23,478,000
14 Madagascar 19,683,000
15 Cameroon 18,549,000
16 Malawi 13,925,000
17 Zimbabwe 13,349,000
18 Zambia 11,922,000
19 Rwanda 9,725,000
20 Hong Kong 6,985,200
21 Papua New Guinea 6,331,000
22 Sierra Leone 5,866,000
23 Singapore 4,839,400
24 Ireland 4,517,800
25 New Zealand 4,294,350
26 Puerto Rico 3,991,000
27 Liberia 3,750,000
28 Jamaica 2,714,000
29 Namibia 2,074,000
30 Lesotho 2,008,000
31 Botswana 1,882,000
32 The Gambia 1,709,000
33 Trinidad and Tobago 1,333,000
34 Mauritius 1,262,000
35 Swaziland 1,141,000
36 Fiji 827,900
37 Guyana 738,000
38 Solomon Islands 506,992
39 Malta 412,600
40 The Bahamas 331,000
41 Barbados 294,000
42 Belize 288,000
43 Vanuatu 226,000
44 Samoa 188,359
45 Guam 173,000
46 Saint Lucia 165,000
47 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 120,000
48 Micronesia 111,000
49 U.S. Virgin Islands 111,000
50 Grenada 106,000
51 Tonga 100,000
52 Kiribati 95,000
53 Jersey 89,300
54 Seychelles 87,000
55 Antigua and Barbuda 85,000
56 Northern Mariana Islands 84,000
57 Isle of Man 80,058
58 Dominica 67,000
59 American Samoa 67,000
60 Bermuda 65,000
61 Guernsey 61,811
62 Marshall Islands 59,000
63 Saint Kitts and Nevis 50,000
64 Cayman Islands 47,000
65 Gibraltar 29,257
66 Turks and Caicos Islands 26,000
67 British Virgin Islands 23,000
68 Cook Islands 20,200
69 Palau 20,000
70 Anguilla 13,000
71 Tuvalu 11,000
72 Nauru 10,000
73 Saint Helena 6,600
74 Montserrat 5,900
75 Falkland Islands 3,000
76 Norfolk Island 1,828
77 Niue 1,600
78 Christmas Island 1,508
79 Tokelau 1,400
80 Pitcairn Islands 50

Below is a summary of African and Asian countries in the top 20:

Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Madagascar, Cameroon, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda

Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Hong Kong

1 comment:

makita power battery said...

yes,i think you are right,the english is very important...