March 14, 2010

English is now India's second language

The Times of India summarizes recently released census data on bilingualism in India.

More Indians speak English than any other language, with the sole exception of Hindi. What's more, English speakers in India outnumber those in all of western Europe, not counting the United Kingdom. And Indian English-speakers are more than twice the UK's population.

English was the primary language for barely 2.3 lakh Indians at the time of the census, more than 86 million listed it as their second language and another 39 million as their third language. This puts the number of English speakers in India at the time to more than 125 million. The only language that had more speakers was Hindi with 551.4 million.


me said...

Only 2.3 lakh EFL speakers? I knew the unmber would be tiny, but not *THAT* tiny.With numbers that low, my Anglo-Indian cousins should be given WWF endangered species status. :)

R Devraj said...

They're an endangered species alright, though the number would be higher if you counted those living out of India.