Wondering how many people speak German worldwide? What about the countries that speak German as a first language?
With more than 130 million speakers, German is the 12th most widely spoken language in the world.
In addition to Germany, numerous other nations also have German-speaking populations.
This article focuses on the breakdown of statistical data of people speaking German worldwide. Let’s have a closer look at these numbers.
How Many People Speak German: General Stats
- Studies state that there are over 134 million German language speakers in the world.
- German is the native language of 100 million people, according to statistics.
- German is the 12th most spoken language in the world.
- 76.5 million people worldwide speak German as a first language.
- German is the third most widely taught as a foreign language, especially in Europe.
- German is spoken in 42 different countries, with more than 7.5 million people belonging to a German-speaking minority.
- There are more than 81 million people living in Germany. 91.8% of the people in this group are native German speakers. This number exceeds 74 million. The number of people who speak German as a second language is 10 to 25 million.
- It is also the most commonly used scientific language and among the most used languages on websites.
- German is the most widely used language in Europe, with little over 100 million native speakers (after Russian, with 110 million).
- Around 25 million people speak German as a second language, and 101 million people speak it as a foreign language in total.
- There are 1.99 million inhabitants who speak German by birth.
- Nearly half a million German speakers currently live in Canada.
- According to worlddata.org, there are 74.90 million native speakers.
- The German-speaking minority numbers more than 7.6 million people and is spread over 42 nations and six inhabited continents.
- Nearly 290 million individuals worldwide have studied German at some time in their lives, according to Lingoda.
- As per the research by Lingoda, there are 15 Million people around the world who are currently learning German as a foreign language. Among these people, approximately 90% are school students, and 10% are adults.
- Additionally, 158 Goethe Institutes in 98 distinct nations provide lessons and courses in German.
- German is an official language in 6 different countries.
- According to data, 25 percent of the almost 80 million tourists who visit the United States annually speak German.
- 13.3% of all Europeans, or 95 to 100 million individuals, speak German as their first language. This places it ahead of French (66.5 million speakers), English, and Russian (144 million speakers), making it the second most widely spoken native language in Europe (with 64.2 million).
History Of The German Language
- One of the most common languages spoken worldwide is German. In the European Union, it is the native tongue that is most frequently spoken.
- West German language is mainly spoken in Central Europe.
- It is the most widely spoken and official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italian province of South Tyrol.
- A lesser portion of the vocabulary in German is partially derived from Latin and Greek, whereas the rest comes from the old Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.
- German is also a co-official language of Luxembourg and Belgium.
- German is a national language in Namibia.
- The German language has been influential in the fields of philosophy, science, and technology.
- German continues to be officially recognized at the local level despite being one of only three official languages in Namibia until 1990.
- The highest concentration of German-speaking individuals in Central America—more than 3 million—live in Argentina.
- German was formerly the second most spoken language in the United States, with around 3 million speakers in 1910, when there were 92 million people living there. In 2010, 100 years after the country’s founding, there were 331 million Americans and just over 1 million German speakers.
- Latin America is home to at least a million German speakers today.
How Many People Speak German: Country Wise
All inhabited continents are home to German speakers, or “Germanophones,” as a result of the German diaspora and the popularity of teaching German as a foreign language.
- German is the official language in six nations. Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland are among them.
Here is data on countries speaking German as an official language.
|Country||Number of people speaking German|
|Austria||Over 8 million|
|Belgium||About 2.5 million|
- Germany is home to 78.1% of the world’s native German speakers.
- In addition, 8% of German speakers reside in Austria, 5% or more in Austria, and 1% or less in Italy.
- In addition to the six countries that have adopted German as their official language, other dependent entities also do so.
- According to Slovak legislation, the villages of Blaufuss/Krahule and Kuneschhau/Kunesov also recognize German as a co-official language.
Let’s have a look at detailed numbers of how many people speak German in various countries.
|Sr. No.||Country||Approx Number of speakers||Distribution|
|5.||United States of America||1,991,000||0.6 %|
- From 1884 to 1915, Namibia was a colony of the German Empire. About 25,000 to 30,000 people still use German as their first language today, the majority of whom are descended from German immigrants who arrived during this period.
- In the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, Esparto Santo, and Santa Catarina, German is the sole official language in nine towns (together with Portuguese).
- It is estimated that 12,000 persons in South Africa are native German or German-speaking speakers; most of them are descended from various immigrant groups during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
- German-speaking communities can be found in Latin America, mainly in South America (Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil).
- In addition to Slovak, German is regarded as a co-official language in the settlements of Krahule/Blaufuss and Kunesov/Kuneschhau under Slovak legislation.
- With between 300.000 and 350.000 speakers in Poland’s Opole and Silesian Voivodeships, German is a national minority language.
- An estimated 40,000 people in Chile, which has a population of 19 million, speak German.
- In Colombia, there are roughly 40 million people. Only 5,000 people of German heritage out of the 40 million speak the language.
- There are an estimated 200,000 native or second-language speakers of standard German in Mexico, a country with a population of approximately 120 million.
- There are approximately 8 Million German speakers in Austria.
- With 5.2 million speakers of Swiss German and an additional 292,000 of standard German, the language is also widely spoken in Switzerland.
- While there are numerous German speakers in North America, there are around 2.2 million more in South America.
- Similar to this, there aren’t many German speakers in Asia; Thailand has 11,100 recorded speakers on its census.
Where Do People Learn The German Language Most
- Ulrich Ammon, a linguist and language specialist from Germany, estimates that roughly 290 million individuals worldwide have studied German at some time in their lives.
- Over 5.1 thousand students took German classes at tertiary educational institutions during the academic year 2021–2022.
- Around the world, 15.4 million individuals are learning German.
- There are presently 15.4 million people learning German as a second language worldwide, 90% of whom are schoolchildren and 10% are adults.
- More than 2,000 educational institutions that are a part of the PASCH school network introduce students to the German language and culture.
- Around 47 million people in the EU, or up to two-thirds of the 75–100 million people worldwide, were reported to be able to communicate in German, according to a 2012 survey.
- German is taught the most frequently as a foreign language throughout Central and Northern Europe, specifically in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden, among other EU nations where it is not an official language.
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Conclusion: How Many People Speak German (2023)
German is spoken by millions of people worldwide as their mother tongue, and millions more speak it or are learning it as a second language. It has numerous similarities to English and was once related to that language.
As we can see, more and more individuals over the world are speaking German. Each year, this data changes.
I hope this article gave you a complete idea of how many people speak German.
Let us know your thoughts in our commence section below.
Approximately, there are 130 million people who speak German worldwide.
There are more than 81 million people living in Germany. 91.8% of the people in this group are native German speakers. This number exceeds 74 million. The number of people who speak German as a second language is 5.6 million.
Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg are the four nations in the European Union where German is the most widely spoken mother tongue and an official language. The official languages of Liechtenstein and Switzerland are both German.