The Official Languages Found in the Most Countries Around the World 

While a majority of the official languages included on this linguistic chart are commonly found in the same region of the world, others are far more widespread and have been deemed the official language in countries across the world. It’s no surprise to find that English is the official language for the most countries by far. There are 55 countries with English as the official language, many of which can be found in Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, and places in between. 

What is the official language of the United States? The answer may surprise you. Check out the chart below to see which languages are the official languages of more than one country as well as the countries that have recognized them at a national level.

Click to view the full-size infographic

Official languages around the world Infographic

Which Language Is the Official Language of the Most Countries?

English is the official language of 55 countries, the most of any language. But is English the official language of the U.S.? No, not officially: It is actually considered to be the de facto national language, which is also true for three other countries. A de facto national language is one that is not legally recognized as the de jure (or official) national language but is spoken by a majority of the people in that country. 

Through past research, we found that English is also the most commonly spoken language in the world, with more than 1.13 billion speakers. 

The Official Languages of More Than One Country

English is the official language of 55 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada (except Quebec), Curaçao, Dominica, Eswatini, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, The Bahamas, The Gambia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. And it’s the de facto national language in 4 countries: Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States.

French is the official language of 29 countries: Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu.

Arabic is the official language of 22 countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Spanish is the official language of 15 countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, and Venezuela. And it’s the de facto national language in 5 countries: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Uruguay.

Portuguese is the official language of 10 countries: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

German is the official language of 6 countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

Swahili is the official language of 6 countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Russian is the official language of 4 countries: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

Italian is the official language of 4 countries: Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

Malay is the official language of 3 countries: Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Serbo-Croatian is the official language of 3 countries: Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia. And it’s the de facto national language in 1 country: Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Tswana is the official language of 3 countries: Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Dutch is the official language of 3 countries: Belgium, Suriname, and The Netherlands.

Hindustani is the official language of 3 countries: Fiji, India, and Pakistan.

Persian is the official language of 3 countries: Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan.

Quechua is the official language of 3 countries: Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Sotho is the official language of 3 countries: South Africa, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe.

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of 3 countries: China, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Albanian is the official language of 2 countries: Albania and Kosovo.

Tamil is the official language of 2 countries: Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Turkish is the official language of 2 countries: Cyprus and Turkey.

Romanian is the official language of 2 countries: Moldova and Romania.

Aymara is the official language of 2 countries: Bolivia and Peru.

Berber is the official language of 2 countries: Algeria and Morocco.

Greek is the official language of 2 countries: Cyprus and Greece.

Guarani is the official language of 2 countries: Bolivia and Paraguay.

Korean is the official language of 2 countries: North Korea and South Korea.

Swati is the official language of 2 countries: Eswatini and South Africa.

Swedish is the official language of 2 countries: Finland and Sweden.