English as an official language facts for kids
This is a list of sovereign states and territories where English is an official language. That means it is a language used by their governments, churches, mosques, schools and business. In 2014, there were 88 states: 60 sovereign states and 38 non-sovereign states).
Most countries where English is a prominent or official language are former colonies of the British Empire. Notable exceptions include Rwanda, which was a former Belgian colony, and Eritrea, which was an Italian colony where the British Empire controlled it only in World War II and shortly after (1941–1952).
English is the sole official language of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Commonwealth Games. English is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee. Although English is not classified as an official language in the United States many states and regions within the U.S. do have English as an official language.
India's linguistic picture is complex. According to the Constitution of India, "Hindi in the Devanagari script" is the official language of the union; and English the 'subsidiary official language'; however, English is mandated (must be used) for the authoritative texts of all federal laws and Supreme Court decisions and (with Hindi) is one of the two languages of the Indian Parliament. English is taught in schools, and the quality and effectiveness of the teaching is extremely varied. English is used almost exclusively for higher education.
|Antigua and Barbuda||Caribbean||85,000|
|Belize||Central America / Caribbean||288,000|
|Guyana||South America / Caribbean||738,000|
|Mauritius||Africa / Indian Ocean||1,262,000|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Oceania||111,000|
|Papua New Guinea||Oceania||6,331,000|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Caribbean||50,000|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Caribbean||120,000|
|Seychelles||Africa / Indian Ocean||87,000|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Caribbean||1,333,000|
|Australia||Australia / Oceania||22,930,577|
|United States||North America||309,442,000|
|British Virgin Islands||Caribbean||23,000|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands||Australia||596|
|Falkland Islands||South Atlantic||3,000|
|Isle of Man||Europe||80,058|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Oceania||53,883|
|Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha||South Atlantic||5,660|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Caribbean||26,000|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Caribbean||111,000|
- The population figures are based on the sources in List of countries by population, with information as of 23 January 2009 (UN estimates, et al.)
- Hong Kong is a former British Crown colony (1843–1981) and British Dependent Territory (1981–1997); it is currently a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (1997–present)
- Puerto Rico is, historically and culturally, connected to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; Spanish is also an official language on the island. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated United States territory referred to as a "Commonwealth"
- Guam is an organized unincorporated territory of the United States
- The US Virgin Islands is an insular area of the United States
- Jersey is a British Crown dependency
- The Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political union with the United States
- Isle of Man is a British Crown dependency
- Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory
- Guernsey is a British Crown dependency
- American Samoa is an unincorporated U.S. territory
- Christmas Island is an external territory of Australia
- Pitcairn Islands is a British Overseas Territory
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All areas of the world that were ever part of the British Empire. Current British Overseas Territories have their names underlined in red.
English as an official language Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.