Ethnologue: Languages of the World

Top 100 Languages by Population

Last updated: February 1999

The population figures in this table refer to first language speakers in all countries. Note that these figures are updated from the 13th Edition of the Ethnologue (1996).

Click on the language name to view its home country Ethnologue entry. For other countries in which the language is spoken, click on the three-letter abbreviation.

RankLanguage NamePrimary CountryPopulation
1CHINESE, MANDARIN [CHN] China885,000,000
2SPANISH [SPN] Spain332,000,000
3ENGLISH [ENG] United Kingdom322,000,000
4BENGALI [BNG] Bangladesh189,000,000
5HINDI [HND] India182,000,000
6PORTUGUESE [POR] Portugal170,000,000
7RUSSIAN [RUS] Russia170,000,000
8JAPANESE [JPN] Japan125,000,000
9GERMAN, STANDARD [GER] Germany98,000,000
10CHINESE, WU [WUU] China77,175,000
11JAVANESE [JAN] Indonesia, Java, Bali75,500,800
12KOREAN [KKN] Korea, South75,000,000
13FRENCH [FRN] France72,000,000
14VIETNAMESE [VIE] Viet Nam67,662,000
15TELUGU [TCW] India66,350,000
16CHINESE, YUE [YUH] China66,000,000
17MARATHI [MRT] India64,783,000
18TAMIL [TCV] India63,075,000
19TURKISH [TRK] Turkey59,000,000
20URDU [URD] Pakistan58,000,000
21CHINESE, MIN NAN [CFR] China49,000,000
22CHINESE, JINYU [CJY] China45,000,000
23GUJARATI [GJR] India44,000,000
24POLISH [PQL] Poland44,000,000
25ARABIC, EGYPTIAN SPOKEN [ARZ] Egypt42,500,000
26UKRAINIAN [UKR] Ukraine41,000,000
27ITALIAN [ITN] Italy37,000,000
28CHINESE, XIANG [HSN] China36,015,000
29MALAYALAM [MJS] India34,022,000
30CHINESE, HAKKA [HAK] China34,000,000
31KANNADA [KJV] India33,663,000
32ORIYA [ORY] India31,000,000
33PANJABI, WESTERN [PNB] Pakistan30,000,000
34SUNDA [SUO] Indonesia27,000,000
35PANJABI, EASTERN [PNJ] India26,013,000
36ROMANIAN [RUM] Romania26,000,000
37BHOJPURI [BHJ] India25,000,000
38AZERBAIJANI, SOUTH [AZB] Iran24,364,000
39FARSI, WESTERN [PES] Iran24,280,000
40MAITHILI [MKP] India24,260,000
41HAUSA [HUA] Nigeria24,200,000
42ARABIC, ALGERIAN SPOKEN [ARQ] Algeria22,400,000
43BURMESE [BMS] Myanmar22,000,000
44SERBO-CROATIAN [SRC] Yugoslavia21,000,000
45CHINESE, GAN [KNN] China20,580,000
46AWADHI [AWD] India20,540,000
47THAI [THJ] Thailand20,047,000
48DUTCH [DUT] Netherlands20,000,000
49YORUBA [YOR] Nigeria20,000,000
50SINDHI [SND] Pakistan19,720,000
51ARABIC, MOROCCAN SPOKEN [ARY] Morocco19,542,000
52ARABIC, SAIDI SPOKEN [AEC] Egypt18,900,000
53UZBEK, NORTHERN [UZB] Uzbekistan18,466,000
54MALAY [MLI] Malaysia, Peninsular17,600,000
55AMHARIC [AMH] Ethiopia17,413,000
56INDONESIAN [INZ] Indonesia17,050,000
57IGBO [IGR] Nigeria17,000,000
58TAGALOG [TGL] Philippines17,000,000
59NEPALI [NEP] Nepal16,056,000
60ARABIC, SUDANESE SPOKEN [APD] Sudan16,000,000
61SARAIKI [SKR] Pakistan15,015,000
62CEBUANO [CEB] Philippines15,000,000
63ARABIC, NORTH LEVANTINE SPOKEN [APC] Syria15,000,000
64THAI, NORTHEASTERN [TTS] Thailand15,000,000
65ASSAMESE [ASM] India14,634,000
66HUNGARIAN [HNG] Hungary14,500,000
67CHITTAGONIAN [CIT] Bangladesh14,000,000
68ARABIC, MESOPOTAMIAN SPOKEN [ACM] Iraq13,900,000
69MADURA [MHJ] Indonesia, Java, Bali13,694,000
70SINHALA [SNH] Sri Lanka13,220,000
71HARYANVI [BGC] India13,000,000
72MARWARI [MKD] India12,104,000
73CZECH [CZC] Czech Republic12,000,000
74GREEK [GRK] Greece12,000,000
75MAGAHI [MQM] India12,000,000
76CHHATTISGARHI [HNE] India10,985,000
77DECCAN [DCC] India10,709,800
78CHINESE, MIN BEI [MNP] China10,537,000
79BELARUSAN [RUW] Belarus10,200,000
80ZHUANG, NORTHERN [CCX] China10,000,000
81ARABIC, NAJDI SPOKEN [ARS] Saudi Arabia9,800,000
82PASHTO, NORTHERN [PBU] Pakistan9,685,000
83SOMALI [SOM] Somalia9,472,000
84MALAGASY [MEX] Madagascar9,398,700
85ARABIC, TUNISIAN SPOKEN [AEB] Tunisia9,308,000
86RWANDA [RUA] Rwanda9,306,800
87ZULU [ZUU] South Africa9,142,000
88BULGARIAN [BLG] Bulgaria9,000,000
89SWEDISH [SWD] Sweden9,000,000
90LOMBARD [LMO] Italy8,974,000
91OROMO, WEST-CENTRAL [GAZ] Ethiopia8,920,000
92PASHTO, SOUTHERN [PBT] Afghanistan8,206,000
93KAZAKH [KAZ] Kazakhstan8,000,000
94ILOCANO [ILO] Philippines8,000,000
95TATAR [TTR] Russia8,000,000
96FULFULDE, NIGERIAN [FUV] Nigeria7,611,000
97ARABIC, SANAANI SPOKEN [AYN] Yemen7,600,000
98UYGHUR [UIG] China7,595,512
99HAITIAN CREOLE FRENCH [HAT] Haiti7,372,000
100AZERBAIJANI, NORTH [AZE] Azerbaijan7,059,000
101NAPOLETANO-CALABRESE [NPL] Italy7,047,400
102KHMER, CENTRAL [KMR] Cambodia7,039,200
103FARSI, EASTERN [PRS] Afghanistan7,000,000
104AKAN [TWS] Ghana7,000,000
105HILIGAYNON [HIL] Philippines7,000,000
106KURMANJI [KUR] Turkey7,000,000
107SHONA [SHD] Zimbabwe7,000,000

The entire database from which this table is extracted is available as a tab-delimited file suitable for importing into a database or spreadsheet program: http://www.sil.org/ftp/ethnolog13/langpop99.zip


Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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