List of countries where English is an official language

List of countries where English is an official language

The following is a list of sovereign states and territories where English is an official language, in order of population. Several of these nations, like India, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines, use English as an official language but not the sole official language.

This list also includes countries where English is the dominant language, but does not have official status. In Australia, English is spoken by the vast majority of the population and is the only language used in government institutions, yet Australia does not have an official language. This is the same in the U.S. and the UK, although some states or regions within the UK and the U.S. have English as an official language.

The status of English as a country's official language does not necessarily correlate with the number of English-speakers in that country. India, for example, with a population of 1.1 billion, has fewer than 200,000 native speakers of English and approximately 100 million second-language English speakers (who form less than 10% of its population). Nigeria on the other hand, has a small percentage of "Standard English" second-language speakers; however, more than 60% of its population speaks Nigerian Pidgin English, which although not a dialect of English, does contain many English words and possesses an English-"like" grammatical structure.

Almost all of these countries are current or former colonies or dependencies of the UK (see also British Empire). The notable exceptions are Madagascar, which is a former French colony with English speaking neighbours, and the Philippines, which is a former U.S. dependency.

India's linguistic picture is complex. According to the Constitution of India, "Hindi in the Devanagari script" is the official language of the union [] however, English is mandated for the authoritative texts of all federal laws and Supreme Court decisions, and (along with Hindi) is one of the two languages of the Indian Parliament. See Official languages of India.

These nations total 2.135 billion people, cover 15,583,152 square miles, and have a combined GDP of about 18 trillion US dollars.

overeign states

Non-sovereign entities

ee also

*List of countries by English-speaking population


:The population figures are based on List of countries by population.:Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China:Puerto Rico is, historically and geographically, connected to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; Spanish is the main language of the majority of Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated United States territory referred to as a "Commonwealth":Guam is an organized unincorporated territory of the United States:The US Virgin Islands is an insular area of the United States:Jersey is a British Crown dependency:The Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political union with the United States:Isle of Man is a British Crown dependency:Bermuda is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom:Guernsey is a British Crown dependency:American Samoa is an unincorporated U.S. territory:Christmas Island is an external territory of Australia:Pitcairn Islands is a British overseas territory:Widely spoken but not an official language


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