English-speaking world

Speakers of English are sometimes known as Anglophones, and the countries where English is spoken natively by the majority of the population are termed the Anglosphere. Over two billion people speak English as of the 2000s,[1][2] making English the largest language by number of speakers, and the third largest language by number of native speakers.

  Regions where English or an English-based creole is the native language of the majority.
  Regions where English is an official language, but not the majority language.

The United States and the United Kingdom have the most native speakers, with 330 million and 67 million respectively. There are also 29 million in Canada, 25.7 million in Australia, 5 million in New Zealand, and 5 million in Ireland.[citation needed] When those who speak English as a second-language are included, estimates of the number of Anglophones vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion.[2] David Crystal calculates that as of 2003 non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3:1.[3] As of 2012, India claimed to have the world's second-largest English-speaking population: the most reliable estimate is around 10% of its population (125 million people), a number that is expected to have quadrupled by 2022.[4] When native and non-native speakers are combined, English is the most widely spoken language worldwide.

England and the Scottish Lowlands, parts of the United Kingdom, are the birthplace of the English language, and the modern form of the language has been being spread around the world since the 17th century, first by the worldwide influence of the United Kingdom, and more recently by that of the United States. Through all types of printed and electronic media of these countries, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions and professional contexts such as science, navigation and law.[5] The United Kingdom remains the largest English-speaking country in Europe.

Besides the major varieties of English, such as American English, British English, Canadian English, Australian English, Irish English, New Zealand English, and their sub-varieties, countries such as South Africa, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from English-based creole languages to Standard English. Other countries, such as Ghana and Uganda, also use English as their primary official languages.


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