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World language families


Language statistics & facts | Top 30 languages | 20 countries with the most languages
Language families: By speakers - By languages | Languages in the United States


Language families by speakers

There are over 6900 languages currently spoken in the world. These languages belong to 94 different language families, that is, groups of languages whose share their origins.

Indo-European languages are the most widely spoken languages: 44% of the world population, or 2.5 billion people, speak a language in the Indo-European family.


Indo-European Languages by Country
Data source: Wikipedia article on "Indo-European Languages."



Over 96% of the earth's inhabitants or 5.5 billion people speak a language in the top 10 language families, meaning that the languages in the remaining 84 groups are spoken by only 4% of the world population!


Top 10 Languages Families by Number of Speakers
Data source: Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. (2005).

Language family Approx. # of speakers % of world
population
1. Indo-European 2.562 billion 44.78%
2. Sino-Tibetan 1.276 billion 22.28%
3. Niger-Congo 358 million 6.26%
4. Afro-Asiatic 340 million 5.93%
5. Austronesian 312 million 5.45%
6. Dravidian 222 million 3.87%
7. Altaic 145 million 2.53%
8. Japanese 123 million 2.16%
9. Austro-Asiatic 101 million 1.77%
10. Tai-Kadai 78 million 1.37%
  -------------------
Total percentage of world's population: 96.4%




Language statistics & facts | Top 30 languages | 20 countries with the most languages
Language families: By speakers - By languages | Languages in the United States


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