Most Widely Spoken Languages in the World


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Chinese tops the list of most popular world languages, with over one billion speakers. English trails in third place, with 335 million speakers. This data represents first-language speakers.

Language1Approx. number
of speakers
 1. Chinese21,197,000,000
 2. Spanish414,000,000
 3. English335,000,000
 4. Hindi260,000,000
 5. Arabic3237,000,000
 6. Portuguese203,000,000
 7. Bengali193,000,000
 8. Russian167,000,000
 9. Japanese122,000,000
10. Javanese84,300,000
Source: Ethnologue, 2014.
1. May encompass multiple dialects.
2. The macrolanguage Chinese [zho] includes 13 individual languages with at least 1 million speakers.
3. The macrolanguage Arabic [ara] includes 18 individual languages with at least 1 million speakers.


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