What are the English-speaking countries in the world? When one travels around the world it is very useful to know in which countries the English language is spoken. English is today the most international language in the world.
It is used as a vehicular language so that speakers from different countries can understand each other, and it is used for contexts as diverse as business, science or tourism.
This article reviews the main English-speaking countries in the world with this language as their official language. Therefore, countries with high competition with this language but which is not official, such as the Netherlands, Iceland or Finland, are left out.
The 20 English-Speaking Countries In The World
English is a language that is spread all over the world. Due to Great Britain’s colonial past, this language is present on all five continents. Recognition as a global language ended up coming later, when the United States emerged as the greatest power on the planet.
Below are the main countries that speak English as an official language. Some are quite obvious, but others will surprise many readers; There are countries in all corners of the planet that make the list.
The English language was born in Europe, and specifically in England. Despite the fact that in all other continents there are more countries with English as an official language, it is de facto the vehicular language of the European Union.
On this continent, there are six countries that have English as their official language: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland (these four make up Great Britain), the Republic of Ireland and Malta.
England is the most emblematic country of the English language. There are many civilizations that have influenced English today, but the most influential were found in this country (Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Celts, etc.).
2. Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland is an independent country with two official languages. One is English, and the other is Gaelic Irish. In the past everyone spoke the second and not the first, but over the centuries the influence of English rule on the island was such that today the situation is exactly the opposite.
Scotland is one of the countries that is part of Great Britain. In this region, Scottish English is the official language, although Scottish and Scottish Gaelic have co-official recognition as well.
Malta stands out for being a Mediterranean country that has adopted English as its official language. On this island the traditional language is Maltese, but English is widely spoken as it has always been a land of encounters and today is a great tourist destination.
In America, there are very important English-speaking countries. The United States stands out for the tremendous influence it exerts globally at many levels, but there are other important countries as well.
The main one is Canada, but there are many more countries that have this language as an official language and that surely some readers do not have in mind. These are Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Guyana, Grenada, Dominica, Belize, Barbados or Antigua and Barbuda.
5. United States
The United States is the most powerful and dominant English-speaking country . After World War II, he exercised economic, military, political and cultural leadership throughout the world, being key in the process of internationalization of English.
Canada is a very prosperous country in which English is the official language, and in the Quebec region it is co-official with the French language. It is a country with a very high quality of life, and the United States coexists in this corner of the planet and with the great influence it receives from it.
7. The Bahamas
The Bahamas is a country known for its beaches and for being a tax haven. It is the destination of many wealthy people who want to enjoy a good vacation or save their economy in checking accounts in this exotic country.
Jamaica is a country located in the middle of the Caribbean. It is known for being the birthplace of Bob Marley and reggae. Its population has many roots with Africa, and the Rastafarian culture is widespread on this island.
Oceania is the smallest continent in the world, but there are different English-speaking countries. It is the official language of Australia, one of the largest Anglo-Saxon countries.
It is also the official language in countries such as New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, The Cook Islands, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Samoa.
Australia is a major country with English as its official language. It is a place that until a few centuries ago belonged to the aborigines of the island, who also speak their languages, but today the de facto language is English. Most of the population is concentrated in the southeast of the island.
10. New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful and peaceful countries in the world. The quality of life is very high, partly due to the fact that the difference between salaries and the cost of living is very balanced.
11. Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a very different country from the previous ones. It is the country with the most official languages in the world, English being one of them. The ethnolinguistic diversity of this country is truly astounding and has caught the attention of many scientists.
Tonga is an independent Oceanian island since 1970. It was once a colony of the United Kingdom, and it is a very different country to Australia or New Zealand. The economy is not very good, although it is an exotic destination for many people and tourism is one of the main sectors.
Africa is a continent of contrasts and with a marked colonial past. Different European powers agreed to divide up the territories and enslaved and plundered their populations.
Great Britain was one of the powers that led this bitter chapter of human history. One of the consequences is that today there are many African territories that are officially English-speaking countries, such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda or Sudan.
Nigeria is one of the most influential countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Its high population is growing, and it is estimated that in a few years it will be one of the most populous countries on earth. It is a benchmark for many countries in the region such as its neighbors Benin and Cameroon.
14. South Africa
In South Africa, there are 11 official languages, and one of them is English. In fact, it is the most widely used language in the country, although in the past it was Afrikaans. This change in dominant language occurred as a consequence of the link that was associated between apartheid and the Afrikaans language.
Ethiopia is a very unique country because of its history. Beyond a few years of Italian domination in the country, it managed to repel different colonial forces throughout its history. Today English is one of the official languages of the country, making it possible to communicate in the Anglo-Saxon language in this African country.
Kenya is one of the most iconic countries in East Africa. It was a British colony for years, and the English language is official along with Swahili. It is one of the main English-speaking countries due to its influence in the area, with the coastal part being the most prosperous area of the country.
Asia is the most populous continent in the world, and different countries have English as their official language. On this list are countries as diverse as India, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
There is no doubt that the economic center of the world is turning to Asia, and English is the vehicular language in this region of the world as well.
India is one of the largest countries in the world with English as its official language. It is a country that is a former British colony, with which there is a marked past with influences from the English language. It is estimated that in a few years it will have more population than China.
Pakistan is also a former British colony. In fact, in the past, Pakistan and India were within the same borders, and it was in the 20th century that the population was divided between the two countries for religious reasons. It is one of the most populous Islamic countries in the world.
Singapore is a very small country, but with a very prosperous economy. It is in fact one of the richest countries in the world, and English is one of its four official languages. The English language is essential for business in this country.
The Philippines is a country with a marked colonial past. Until the 19th century it was a Spanish power, and the majority of its population spoke this language. However, the United States took control of the island in the first half of the 20th century, which has made it one of its official and most used languages today.