Where is German spoken?

Posted on 14 May, 2018

Most native speakers live in countries where German is a majority language: German, Austria and Liechtenstein. Altogether this comes to around 88 million people whose culture you will be exploring and discovering when you study German. Germans make up 80 million of these native speakers, Austrians around 8 million and 35,000 German speakers also live in Liechtenstein. However, there are also other countries, where local German-speaking minorities are officially recognised:

  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Italy
  • the Czech Republic
  • Luxembourg 
  • Slovakia
  • Hungary
  • Denmark
  • Poland
  • the Vatican City
  • Russia
  • Romania

Of these countries, Switzerland has the largest German-speaking minority, with around 5.5 million Deutschschweitzer (Swiss Germans). Of course, there are also Germans, Austrians or other native speakers who have migrated to a country where most people don’t speak German. Around 3.5 million Germans live abroad: around 300,000 in the UK, another 300,000 in Switzerland, about 180,000 in Spain, roughly 120,000 im Austria. In the US, this figure rises to a million. In parts of North Asia, Eastern Europe and Southeast Europe, German is considered a correspondence language.