How many people speak German?

Posted on 14 May, 2018

As well as 290 million second-language speakers, the majority of people in the following countries are native German speakers:

  • Germany (around 80 million people)
  • Austria (around 8m)
  • Liechtenstein (around 35,000)
  • German-speaking Switzerland (5.5m)

Altogether there are about 103 German native speakers worldwide, 7.5 million of them in non-German speaking countries. Did you know for example that about one million people in Brazil can speak German fluently? Or that roughly half a million German native speakers live in Canada? You can even find Germans in the Dominican Republic, at least 30,000 of them. In fact, there are German-speaking minorities living in 42 nations. Another interesting fact which is maybe encouraging for German learners: the German language has the third-strongest internet presence. Learning German is a global trend, especially in Asia, South America and Africa, where the number of people studying the language is growing. In 2015, more than 15 million people worldwide were studying German at universities, schools or Goethe Institutes. In 2010, only five years earlier, that number was around 500,000 smaller.