How Many People Speak French 2024 (Latest Data)

One of the most common languages spoken around the world is French. Despite the fact that it was first developed in France, the majority of French speakers today reside outside of France.

After English, most countries have made French their official language. The question, “How many people speak French?” may arise in light of the popularity of the language and its rising number of speakers.

With over 321 million people around the world speaking French, it is currently the fifth most spoken language.

In this article, we will explore some important stats and figures of French-speaking people around the world. 

Let’s have a look at these facts and numbers.

General Stats For French Speaking People

Here are a few general stats on how many people speak french here.

  1. According to the data, there are more than 321 million people who speak French.
  2. Over 98.4 million people speak French as their mother tongue.
  3. French is an official language in over 39 countries and is partly spoken in 8 other countries.
  4. French is spoken in 106 countries worldwide.
  5. French is the world’s fifth most spoken language.
  6. 29 nations that are a part of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie have French as their official language. These nations are spread across several continents.
  7. Data states that more than 235 million people use the French language daily.
  8. Currently, there are around 132 million people learning French.
  9. According to the recent forecast, it is estimated that the total number of French speakers will increase up to 700 million by 2050.
  10. According to the research of OIF 2018, 88 states and governments are members of the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
  11. The second most studied foreign language is French.
  12. Africans make up 59% of the daily French speakers worldwide.
  13. There are many lexical identities or variants of French that are used in France and many French-speaking countries.
  14. According to the data from Wikipedia 2022, there are 76.8 million people are native French speakers.
  15. French is one of the sixth official languages used in the USA.
  16. French is the 18th most widely spoken language in the world, the 2nd or 3rd most studied language globally, and the fifth most spoken language overall (120 million learners as of 2017).
  17. The data from 2015 states that approximately 40% of the French language population lived in Europe.
  18. Moreover, about 15% of them lived in North Africa and the Middle East. Similarly, 8% were Americans, and 1% of them were in Asia and Oceania.
  19. In the European Union, French is the second most widely used mother tongue.
  20. Approximately one-fifth of Europeans who are native speakers of other languages can speak French as a second language.
  21. Additionally, French serves as the European Union’s official language of procedure, the sole language of the EU Court of Justice’s deliberations, and one of the UN’s official working languages.
  22. Thus, thanks to the French educational system abroad, 300,000 youths in more than 100 countries receive an education in French.

History Of French Language

  1. French is considered a Romance Language in general because of its accent.
  2. French evolved from the Gallo-Romance dialects spoken in northern France.
  3. French is descended from Vulgar Latin, which was the everyday language of the Romans.
  4. It replaced Latin as the state language of France in 1539 when François I made French the official language of administration.
  5. Some experts also say that, at first, French settled its status as an international language during the Middle ages through the influence of the Kingdom of France.
  6. Experts state that it was the Frech and Belgian colonization that expanded the French language’s reach in every corner of the world.
  7. From the 18th century, French became the main language of diplomacy and the European Court.
  8. After World War I, Frace continued to rule Africa until late 1960. According to the OFI, in 2018, more than 132 million people were currently being taught, French.
  9. The Indian Ocean, Africa, and the Middle East are home to at least 72% of learners.
  10. The number of people who speak French has grown by 10% between 2014 and 2018; this indicates that the French-speaking world is doing well today.

How Many People Speak French: Country Wise

The number of people who speak French in each country is listed below. French is recognized as an official language in 39 nations worldwide.

La Francophonie is made up primarily of nations that speak French, many of which were once French colonies.

It is significant to remember that some of these nations, such as Canada, have multiple official languages. As a result, none of these nations particularly speak French as their first language.

Let’s have a look at the number of French speakers in different countries.


Sr No.CountryNumber of French Speakers Distribution
1.France63,588,00093.6 %
2.Canada8,565,00022.0 %
3.Haiti4,866,00042.0 %
4.Belgium4,796,00041.1 %
5.Democratic Republic of the Congo4,257,0004.3 %
6.United States of America2,333,0000.7 %
7.Switzerland1,868,00021.3 %
8.Mali1,446,0006.4 %
9.Cameroon837,00012.9 %
10. Madagascar681,0002.3%
11. Togo637,0007.2 %
12. Ivory Coast591,0002.1 %
13. Central African Republic418,0007.5 %
14. Chad 408,0002.3 %
15. Martinique316,00080.0 %
16. Burkina Faso295,0001.3 %
17. Italy294,0000.5%
18. Guinea291,0002.1 %
19.Niger288,0001.1 %
20.Republic of the Congo275,0004.6 %
21. Senegal242,0001.4 %
22.French Polynesia187,00061.1 %
23.Comoros108,00012.9 %
24. Benin107,0000.8 %
25. Gabon96,0004.0 %
26. New Caledonia95,00034.3 %
27. Guadeloupe91,00020.0 %
28. New Zealand61,0001.2 %
29. French Guiana56,00030.7 %
30. Mayotte52,00020.3 %
31. Mauritius52,0004.1 %
32.Equatorial Guinea40,0002.4 %
33. Burundi39,0000.3 %
34.Western Sahara33,0005.0 %
35.Luxembourg27,0004.2 %
36. Djibouti20,0001.8 %
37.Sao Tome and Principe15,0006.8 %
38. Principality of Monaco15,00041.9 %
39.Rwanda14,0000.1 %
40.Virgin Islands7,0006.6 %
41. Saint Barthelemy6,00080.0 %
42. Andorra5,0006.2 %
43. Reunion5,0000.7 %
44. Saint Martin3,0009.0 %
45. Vanuatu2,0000.6 %
46.Wallis and Futuna2,00010.8 %
47. Seychelles7000.7 %
  1. France, which has a population of 68.04 million, has the most French speakers in the entire world.
  2. With an estimated population of 40 million, Canada is the second-most French-speaking nation, behind only Haiti, Belgium, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  3. More than 30% of Africans, who make up nearly half of the continent’s nations, speak French.
  4. Approximately 2 million Americans currently speak French on a daily basis.
  5. Most French-speaking populations can be found in New England and Louisiana, particularly in the New Orleans area.
  6. Additionally, there is the Canadian province of Quebec, home to 6.5 million French speakers. North America’s most Francophone country is still Canada.
  7. French Guiana, the only territory in South America that speaks French, is a French department with nearly 40,000 Francophones, or 15% of its population.
  8. For reasons connected to the histories of both nations, the French language is prized in Lebanon. Today, 20% of Lebanese regularly use French.
  9. All three of the French Republic’s overseas territories—French Polynesia (which is 95 percent French-speaking), Wallis and Futuna, and New Caledonia—have French as their official language.
  10. In addition, many other African nations, including Gabon, Congo, and Benin, use French as their primary language of instruction. There are still many regional differences, with Africa setting the standard for French language development.
  11. 36.03% of the French-speaking world’s population is found in the Indian Ocean and Sub-Saharan Africa, while 15.28% is found in North Africa and the Middle East.
  12. 7.66% of the world’s population is in the Caribbean and America, and 1.1% is in Asia and Oceania. With 39.87% of the population, France has a sizable French-speaking population.
  13. With 45% of the total population, Belgium has the largest concentration of French speakers, followed by Switzerland with 20%.
  14. Native Francophones make up 77% of Quebec’s population in Canada, and 95% of them speak French as either a first or second language.

Let’s have a look at some numbers of French-speaking countries and the number of Francophones as per the data from IOF 2018.

CountriesTotal No. of Francophones Proportion
North America14 ,270,0004.74%
South America and the Caribbean5,743,0001.91%
Near and Middle East3,180,0001.06%
Asia and Oceania2,552,0000.85%
  1. Despite not having the most people, France has the most native French speakers of any country, with French as an official language.
  2. French is spoken by 5.7 million Swiss citizens and 9.5 million Belgians.
  3. With 543,000 speakers, it is also widely spoken in Luxembourg.
  4. Of all French speakers worldwide, the majority (about 40%) are from Europe.
  5. One of Switzerland’s four official languages, French is most commonly spoken in the country’s west.
  6. Regionally, the Aosta Valley region of Italy, where it is the first language of about 30% of the population, recognizes French as an official language, while minorities continue to speak French dialects on the Channel Islands.
  7. In the German state of Saarland, where more than 43% of the population speaks the language, French is taught as the primary second language beginning in preschool.
  8. The majority of French speakers on earth are found in Africa.
  9. Despite the fact that for the majority of speakers, French is primarily a second language, there are some areas, like Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, where it has replaced local languages.
  10. The total number of people who speak French across the globe is anticipated to reach 700 million in 2050 as a result of the growth of the language in Africa.

Countries With The Highest Proportion Of French Speakers 

The 15 French-speaking nations with the highest percentages of their population speaking French are listed below.

(Source: IOF and ODSEF)

Sr. No.Country% of The Proportion
2. Martinique 80.0%
3. Saint Barthelemy80.0%
4. French Polynesia61.1 %
5. Haiti42.0 %
6. Belgium41.1 %
7. Principality of Monaco41.9 %
8. New Caledonia34.3 %
9. French Guiana30.7 %
10. Canada22.0 %

Future Of The French Language

As it was already mentioned, Africa is home to about 141 million Francophones, making it the continent with the highest concentration in 2018. (7.5 million more).

The IOF estimates that shortly before 2065, the population of all nations with French as their primary language will surpass one billion due to the demographic dynamism that most of the French-speaking nations in Africa are currently experiencing.

YearEstimated Population In A Million
2020460 million approx
2035610 million approx
2050850 million approx
20651 billion approx

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