Ethnologue, the premier authority on languages, has ranked the world’s countries based on the number of living languages spoken within its borders. It’s important to note that the ranking isn’t a measure of multilingualism on a personal level (i.e. the number of people who speak more than one language), rather a count of the number of languages used as a first language in the country.

The full ranking of multilingual countries is below. ‘Total’ shows the overall number of languages spoken as a first language in the country. This total is then broken down into indigenous (ind.) and immigrant (imm.) languages.

Rank Country Total Ind. Imm.
1 Papua New Guinea 839 839 0
2 Indonesia 707 706 1
3 Nigeria 526 520 6
4 India 454 447 7
5 United States 422 216 206
6 China 300 297 3
7 Mexico 289 283 6
8 Cameroon 281 280 1
9 Australia 245 212 33
10 Brazil 229 216 13
11 Democratic Rep. Congo 212 210 2
12 Philippines 193 182 11
13 Canada 174 89 85
14 Malaysia 146 138 8
15 Russian Federation 140 105 35
16 Chad 131 131 0
17 Tanzania 126 125 1
18 Nepal 125 120 5
19 Myanmar 117 117 0
20 Vanuatu 116 110 6
21 Viet Nam 111 108 3
22 Côte d’Ivoire 98 81 17
23 Peru 94 93 1
24 Laos 91 85 6
25 Ethiopia 89 86 3
26 Colombia 87 84 3
27 Thailand 86 74 12
28 Ghana 85 81 4
29 Central African Republic 82 71 11
30 Iran 80 76 4
31 Pakistan 77 72 5
32 Sudan 76 76 0
33 Kenya 72 67 5
34 Mali 71 66 5
35 Solomon Islands 71 71 0
36 Burkina Faso 70 70 0
37 South Sudan 68 68 0
38 Germany 66 27 39
39 Congo 65 62 3
40 France 62 23 39
41 Benin 56 55 1
42 United Kingdom 56 13 43
43 Zambia 55 46 9
44 Israel 51 35 16
45 Venezuela 50 44 6
46 Mozambique 49 43 6
47 Senegal 48 38 10
48 Turkey 47 35 12
49 Togo 46 43 3
50 Bangladesh 45 41 4
51 Bolivia 45 43 2
52 Kazakhstan 44 14 30
53 South Africa 44 28 16
54 Italy 43 35 8
55 Uganda 43 41 2
56 Gabon 42 42 0
57 Ukraine 42 24 18
58 Afghanistan 41 40 1
59 Netherlands 41 15 26
60 New Caledonia 40 38 2
61 Guinea 39 37 2
62 Uzbekistan 39 9 30
63 Botswana 38 28 10
64 Angola 37 37 0
65 Azerbaijan 37 17 20
66 Argentina 36 21 15
67 Namibia 36 28 8
68 United Arab Emirates 34 7 27
69 Bhutan 33 23 10
70 Kyrgyzstan 33 5 28
71 Liberia 32 31 1
72 Tajikistan 32 13 19
73 Libya 31 9 22
74 Singapore 31 24 7
75 Belgium 30 10 20
76 Paraguay 29 23 6
77 Cambodia 28 23 5
78 Georgia 28 19 9
79 China–Taiwan 27 21 6
80 Guinea-Bissau 27 22 5
81 Iraq 27 23 4
82 Sierra Leone 27 25 2
83 Turkmenistan 27 4 23
84 Guatemala 26 26 0
85 Greece 25 16 9
86 New Zealand 25 4 21
87 Romania 25 23 2
88 Ecuador 24 23 1
89 Gambia 24 11 13
90 Sweden 24 14 10
91 Malawi 23 16 7
92 Switzerland 23 12 11
93 Zimbabwe 23 21 2
94 Croatia 22 15 7
95 Poland 22 17 5
96 Spain 22 15 7
97 Suriname 22 19 3
98 Syria 22 16 6
99 Algeria 21 18 3
100 Austria 21 11 10
101 Denmark 21 7 14
102 Fiji 21 10 11
103 Niger 21 21 0
104 Egypt 20 12 8
105 Eritrea 20 15 5
106 Finland 20 12 8
107 Madagascar 20 14 6
108 Saudi Arabia 20 5 15
109 Serbia 20 15 5
110 East Timor 19 19 0
111 Micronesia 19 18 1
112 Oman 19 16 3
113 Panama 19 14 5
114 Bulgaria 18 11 7
115 Czech Republic 18 10 8
116 Hungary 18 15 3
117 Japan 18 15 3
118 Brunei 17 15 2
119 Guyana 17 14 3
120 Chile 16 10 6
121 French Guiana 16 13 3
122 Jordan 16 10 6
123 Norway 16 9 7
124 Moldova 15 10 5
125 Equatorial Guinea 14 14 0
126 Latvia 14 7 7
127 Lithuania 14 8 6
128 Mauritius 14 7 7
129 Mongolia 14 12 2
130 Morocco 14 14 0
131 Somalia 14 13 1
132 Yemen 14 10 4
133 Belize 13 8 5
134 Costa Rica 13 10 3
135 Honduras 13 10 3
136 Puerto Rico 13 4 9
137 Qatar 13 3 10
138 Slovakia 13 10 3
139 Bahrain 12 4 8
140 Uruguay 12 2 10
141 Albania 11 8 3
142 Armenia 11 7 4
143 Belarus 11 2 9
144 Estonia 11 5 6
145 French Polynesia 11 9 2
146 Macedonia 11 10 1
147 Nicaragua 11 11 0
148 Portugal 11 10 1
149 Djibouti 10 5 5
150 Slovenia 10 8 2
151 Tunisia 10 6 4
152 Guam 9 2 7
153 Lebanon 9 6 3
154 Mauritania 9 7 2
155 Nauru 9 3 6
156 Trinidad and Tobago 9 8 1
157 Bosnia and Herzegovina 8 4 4
158 China–Hong Kong 8 7 1
159 Dominican Republic 8 4 4
160 Palestine 8 6 2
161 Réunion 8 3 5
162 Jamaica 7 4 3
163 Kuwait 7 3 4
164 Montenegro 7 4 3
165 Sri Lanka 7 7 0
166 Swaziland 7 5 2
167 American Samoa 6 2 4
168 Comoros 6 6 0
169 Curacao 6 5 1
170 Cyprus 6 4 2
171 El Salvador 6 4 2
172 Ireland 6 5 1
173 Lesotho 6 5 1
174 Luxembourg 6 3 3
175 Northern Mariana Islands 6 4 2
176 São Tomé e Príncipe 6 4 2
177 Aruba 5 4 1
178 Caribbean Netherlands 5 5 0
179 China–Macao 5 5 0
180 Cook Islands 5 5 0
181 Cuba 5 3 2
182 Liechtenstein 5 4 1
183 Malta 5 3 2
184 Palau 5 5 0
185 Rwanda 5 3 2
186 Sint Maarten 5 4 1
187 Tonga 5 3 2
188 Andorra 4 4 0
189 Antigua and Barbuda 4 2 2
190 Bahamas 4 2 2
191 Burundi 4 3 1
192 Dominica 4 3 1
193 Grenada 4 4 0
194 Guadeloupe 4 3 1
195 Martinique 4 3 1
196 Mayotte 4 3 1
197 Monaco 4 4 0
198 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4 3 1
199 South Korea 4 3 1
200 U.S. Virgin Islands 4 3 1
201 Barbados 3 3 0
202 Cape Verde Islands 3 2 1
203 Cayman Islands 3 1 2
204 Gibraltar 3 2 1
205 Haiti 3 3 0
206 Iceland 3 2 1
207 Jersey 3 2 1
208 Kiribati 3 2 1
209 Niue 3 2 1
210 Saint Barthélemy 3 3 0
211 Saint Kitts and Nevis 3 3 0
212 Saint Lucia 3 2 1
213 Saint Martin 3 3 0
214 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 3 2 1
215 Seychelles 3 3 0
216 Turks and Caicos Islands 3 2 1
217 Tuvalu 3 3 0
218 Wallis and Futuna 3 3 0
219 Anguilla 2 2 0
220 Bermuda 2 1 1
221 British Virgin Islands 2 2 0
222 Greenland 2 2 0
223 Guernsey 2 2 0
224 Isle of Man 2 2 0
225 Maldives 2 2 0
226 Marshall Islands 2 2 0
227 Montserrat 2 2 0
228 Norfolk Island 2 2 0
229 Pitcairn 2 2 0
230 Samoa 2 2 0
231 San Marino 2 2 0
232 Tokelau 2 2 0
233 Vatican State 2 2 0
234 British Indian Ocean Territory 1 1 0
235 North Korea 1 1 0

This article originally appeared on Atlas & Boots — Travel with Abandon and is republished here with permission.

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