Internet Users By Languages Worldwide

There is debate running in the world for the most used language on the internet. English is an international language and it has ruled the internet for many decades. More than half of the homepages on the most visited websites of internet are in English. 

Approximately  over half of the homepages of the most visited websites on the World Wide Web are in English, with varying amounts of information available in many other languages. Other top languages are Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Persian, French, and Japanese.

Out of more than 7,000 existing languages, only a few hundred are recognized as being in use for Web pages on the World Wide Web.

The most used languages on the internet

Entire content on the world wide web is consumed in thousands of different languages. Some are common than others, and it is very amazing to see that the online use of a language does not always reflect how many people speak it. For example Hindi is the third most spoken language of the world, but it is not even one of the top languages on the internet.

Here is a look at the top 10 most used language on the internet, on comparison to their real world use among global population

Internet users by language

InternetWorldStats estimates of the number of Internet users by language as of March 31, 2020 

3Spanish363,684,593  7.9%
4Arabic237,418,349  5.2%
5Indonesian / Malaysian198,029,815  4.3%
6Portuguese171,750,818  3.7%
7French151,733,611  3.3%
8Japanese118,626,672  2.6%
9Russian116,353,942  2.5%
10German92,525,427  2.0%
1-10Top 10 languages3,525,027,347  76.9%
Others1,060,551,371 23.1%
  1. English 

There is no doubt in the fact that English is predominantly used on the internet with its 1,186,451,052 users today on the internet.this is almost the 25.9% of the world’s share in ranking. It is not a surprising fact as it has been the case since the invent of internet.

  1. Chinese 

Again it should not come as a surprise considering china’s vast population and large territory having the 888,453,068 internet users and an overall participation rate of 14.9 % china stands second in the list.

  1. Spanish 

Being the official language of multiple countries Spanish language has enjoyed the advantage of being the third most popular language on the internet. It has 363,684,593 spanish speaking internet users which is 7.9% of the  entire world’s share and has a wide variety of dialects, making localization paramount.

  1. Arabic 

The language with the fastest growth rate is none other than Arabic. With a 9348.0% annual growth rate, Arabic language comes to the ranking. It has 237,418,349 active users in the internet and it represents 5.2% globally.

  1. Indonesian/Malaysian

With over 64% of their active online population, Indonesian account for 4.3% of the global participation rate.

  1. Portuguese 

Portuguese has managed to sustain the growth in the number of its speakers on the internet. Today with 171,750,818 users, it accounts 7.3% of the world’s total. Along with this Portuguese is the official language of the nine countries and one independent territory i.e. macao. 

  1. French 

The romance language consolidates as seventh most popular on this list with 151,733,611 active users and a world share of 3.3%

  1. Japanese 

An interesting fact is that internet penetration among the Japanese is 93.8%, that means their entire population uses the internet with 118,626,672 active users on the internet.

  1. Russian 

 Along with Arabic and malaysian, it is the language with the heighest growth rate, which means it holds the very strong position in the list. It has 116,353,942 internet users.

  1.  German 

The german has been in the ranking for many years, although its positon has been changing continuously. However it is possible that it might remain in this list for a long time. Like japan, its almost population consumes the internet i.e. 92,525,427 active users.

Arabic language with about 300 million native speakers, has been deemed as the fastest growing language in the U.S. and even the fastest growing language on the internet. This fact in itself proves the dominance of English over the internet is not going to go further. Apart from English, chinese, Spanish and Arabic are the most used languages in the internet world. As per the recent data the indian regional languages such as Hindi, bangali and urdu along with Indonesian will dominate much of the business world by 2050 followed by Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.

Content languages on YouTube

Out of  top 250 Youtube channels, 66% of the content is in English, 15% in Spanish, 7% in Portuguese, 5% in Hindi, 2% in Korean, while the other languages make up 5%. YouTube is available in almost 80 languages with more than a hundred different local versions. Of those popular YouTube channels that posted a video in the first week of 2019, just over half of them contained some content in a language other than English.

As of January 2020, English was the most popular language on the internet, representing 25.9% of the worldwide internet users. Chinese was ranked second among them with a 19.4% share. The Spanish language is the third most used language online. The top 10 languages account for the 76.9% of global internet users.

English is by far the most common language which is used online, used by 60.4% or about six million of the top 10 million websites. 

By contrast chinese is spoken by 14.3% of the global population-more than 1.11 billion people-but it is used only by the 1.4% of the top 10 million websites.

Interestingly Russian is the second language in this part due to the significant online presence of Runet, the internet’s online Russian language community. Furthermore it is also the official language of multiple countries that were formerly part of the soviet union.

Next generations of languages on the web

Although it looks like that English and Russian language will dominate the web. Apart from this the Asian languages have the highest potential for growth in the internet uses. With an unrecorded audience of more than 1 billion people, the share of the languages such as Chinese and Arabic can grow with the region’s population.

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