If you’re reading this story, the chances are you’ve got a pretty good grasp of English.
You’re not alone — an estimated 1.5 billion people speak English today, making it the most commonly used language in the world.
The majority are non-native speakers with English as their second language, while it serves as a third or fourth language for hundreds of millions more.
So which destination holds the most fluent non-native English speakers?
According to a new report by international education company by EF Education First, the Netherlands can lay claim to the best non-native English speakers across the globe.
The results of its English Proficiency Index, based on a free online test taken by 2.3 million volunteers, indicate that the Dutch are the most fluent.
Sweden was positioned just below, with a score of 68.74 out of 100, while Norway came in third with 67.93 points.
Although the destinations with “very high proficiency” were largely made up of European countries, Singapore and South Africa also scored highly, coming in fifth and sixth place respectively.
It’s worth noting that destinations with greater access to computers and internet will likely have had higher numbers of participants, which may have skewed the results.
The report also found that English was the most widely studied second language in the world by far.
Bilinguality appears to be less of a priority for Americans, if a separate study by non-partisan American think tank Pew Research Center is anything to go by.
Published last year, the analysis found that just 20% of school students in the United States were studying a foreign language.
EF Education First’s poll was measured by testing non-native English speakers in 100 countries and over 400 cities and regions who voluntarily agreed to take the test.
The top non-native English speaking countries
- Netherlands 70.31
- Sweden 70.72
- Norway 68.38
- Denmark 67.34
- Singapore 68.63
- South Africa 66.52
- Finland 65.86
- Austria 63.13
- Luxembourg 66.33
- Germany 63.74
- Poland 62.45
- Portugal 60.02
- Belgium 63.52
- Croatia 60.16