Around the world there are a total of 7,102 known languages, of this gargantuan amount twenty-three remain popular enough to be considered the most spoken languages of the world.
These 23 languages are considered the mother tongue for more than 50 million people and the native tongue for more than 4.1 billion people. To put this into perspective there are currently around 7.2 billion people living on planet earth.
The circle represents the 4.1 billion people around the world that speak one of the 23 most spoken languages. The graphic further breaks down these numbers by the amount of people that speak a given language according to country.
Infographic artist Alberto Lucas Lopez created this interesting breakdown for the South China Morning Post.
Click on any of the images to see a larger version and read all of the details.
The colors marked by the countries show the interesting development of languages in different regions. You will notice different countries are placed throughout the graphic, highlighting the language diversity in singular countries as well as across the globe.
The most widely used language is Chinese, which is considered a macrolanguage that includes different dialects such as Gan, Min Dong, Cantonese, Hakka, Jinyu, Min Bei, and more.
“The reason why English, French and Spanish are among the world’s most widespread languages has its roots in the imperial past of the nations where they originate.”
Chinese is the most widely used language, but English remains the number of language currently being learned with 1,500 million English learners. French is the second most widely learned language with 82 million learners. Chinese is the third most popularly learned language with 30 million learners.