EF English Proficiency Index

The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) attempts to rank countries by the average level of English language skills amongst those adults who took the EF test.[1] It is the product of EF Education First, an international education company, and draws its conclusions from data collected via English tests available for free over the internet.[2][3] The index is an online survey first published in 2011[4] based on test data from 1.7 million test takers.[5] The most recent, eighth edition was released in October, 2018.[6]


The EF EPI eighth edition was calculated using test data from 1.3 million test takers in 2017. The test takers were self-selected and no demographic information was collected on them. The tests are used by the company for marketing and placement purposes. 85 countries and 3 territories appear in the eighth edition of the index. In order to be included, a country was required to have at least 400 test takers.[7]


The report is composed of a country ranking table, several pages of analysis with graphs correlating other economic and social factors with English proficiency, and analysis of each region or continent. The 2018 report and accompanying country fact sheets include English proficiency levels by gender, age group, and region, within countries, and some English proficiency scores by city. The website displays portions of the report and has analysis of English skills in many countries and territories.[7]

Primary conclusions

  1. Exports per capita, Gross National Income per capita and innovation all correlate positively with English proficiency.[8]
  2. English proficiency levels are evolving at different rates in different countries around the world, including a few countries with declining English skills.[9]
  3. Europe as a whole speaks the best English, the Middle East the worst.[10]
  4. Women speak English better than men.[11]

2018 rankings

Below are the latest country scores, proficiency bands, and rankings as published in 2018 (data from 2017).[7]

Score calculation

On the web page of the company EF, the score calculation is explained: "In order to calculate a country’s EF EPI score, each test score was normalized to obtain the percentage of correct answers for that test. All the scores for a country were then averaged across the three tests, giving equal weight to each test." [12] There is thus no differentiation of the three tests for the calculation of the score.

Ranking of countries

Country 2018 Rank 2018 Score 2018 Band
 Sweden 1 70.72 Very High Proficiency
 Netherlands 2 70.31 Very High Proficiency
 Singapore 3 68.63 Very High Proficiency
 Norway 4 68.38 Very High Proficiency
 Denmark 5 67.34 Very High Proficiency
 South Africa 6 66.52 Very High Proficiency
 Luxembourg 7 66.33 Very High Proficiency
 Finland 8 65.86 Very High Proficiency
 Slovenia 9 64.84 Very High Proficiency
 Germany 10 63.74 Very High Proficiency
 Belgium 11 63.52 Very High Proficiency
 Austria 12 63.13 Very High Proficiency
 Poland 13 62.45 High Proficiency
 Philippines 14 61.84 High Proficiency
  Switzerland 15 61.77 High Proficiency
 Romania 16 60.31 High Proficiency
 Croatia 17 60.16 High Proficiency
 Serbia 18 60.04 High Proficiency
 Portugal 19 60.02 High Proficiency
 Czech Republic 20 59.99 High Proficiency
 Hungary 21 59.51 High Proficiency
 Malaysia 22 59.32 High Proficiency
 Greece 23 58.49 High Proficiency
 Slovakia 24 58.11 High Proficiency
 Bulgaria 25 57.95 High Proficiency
 Lithuania 26 57.81 High Proficiency
 Argentina 27 57.58 High Proficiency
 India 28 57.13 Moderate Proficiency
 Nigeria 29 56.72 Moderate Proficiency
 Hong Kong 30 56.38 Moderate Proficiency
 South Korea 31 56.27 Moderate Proficiency
 Spain 32 55.85 Moderate Proficiency
 Lebanon 33 55.79 Moderate Proficiency
 Italy 34 55.77 Moderate Proficiency
 France 35 55.49 Moderate Proficiency
 Costa Rica 36 55.01 Moderate Proficiency
 Dominican Republic 37 54.97 Moderate Proficiency
 Belarus 38 53.53 Moderate Proficiency
 Senegal 39 53.50 Moderate Proficiency
 Uruguay 40 53.41 Moderate Proficiency
 Vietnam 41 53.12 Moderate Proficiency
 Russia 42 52.96 Moderate Proficiency
 Ukraine 43 52.86 Moderate Proficiency
 Macau 44 52.57 Moderate Proficiency
 Georgia 45 52.28 Low Proficiency
 Chile 46 52.01 Low Proficiency
 China 47 51.94 Low Proficiency
 Taiwan 48 51.88 Low Proficiency
 Japan 49 51.80 Low Proficiency
 Pakistan 50 51.66 Low Proficiency
 Indonesia 51 51.58 Low Proficiency
 Albania 52 51.49 Low Proficiency
 Brazil 53 50.93 Low Proficiency
 Ethiopia 54 50.79 Low Proficiency
 Guatemala 55 50.63 Low Proficiency
 Panama 56 49.98 Low Proficiency
 Mexico 57 49.76 Low Proficiency
 Sri Lanka 58 49.39 Low Proficiency
 Peru 59 49.32 Low Proficiency
 Colombia 60 48.90 Low Proficiency
 Bolivia 61 48.87 Low Proficiency
 Egypt 62 48.76 Low Proficiency
 Bangladesh 63 48.72 Low Proficiency
 Thailand 64 48.54 Low Proficiency
 Ecuador 65 48.52 Low Proficiency
 Iran 66 48.29 Very Low Proficiency
 Morocco 67 48.10 Very Low Proficiency
 Tunisia 68 47.85 Very Low Proficiency
 Honduras 69 47.80 Very Low Proficiency
 El Salvador 70 47.42 Very Low Proficiency
 United Arab Emirates 71 47.27 Very Low Proficiency
 Nicaragua 72 47.26 Very Low Proficiency
 Turkey 73 47.17 Very Low Proficiency
 Jordan 74 47.10 Very Low Proficiency
 Venezuela 75 46.61 Very Low Proficiency
 Syria 76 46.37 Very Low Proficiency
 Azerbaijan 77 45.85 Very Low Proficiency
 Kuwait 78 45.64 Very Low Proficiency
 Oman 79 45.56 Very Low Proficiency
 Kazakhstan 80 45.19 Very Low Proficiency
 Algeria 81 44.50 Very Low Proficiency
 Myanmar 82 44.23 Very Low Proficiency
 Saudi Arabia 83 43.65 Very Low Proficiency
 Afghanistan 84 43.64 Very Low Proficiency
 Cambodia 85 42.86 Very Low Proficiency
 Uzbekistan 86 42.53 Very Low Proficiency
 Iraq 87 40.82 Very Low Proficiency
 Libya 88 39.64 Very Low Proficiency

Similar reports

The European Commission performed a language survey, SurveyLang, which tested a representative sample of 15-year-old European students on their foreign language skills. The report and data sets were released for 13 European countries in June 2012.[13]

See also


  1. ^ English: Who speaks English?. The Economist. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  2. ^ Study Offers Snapshot of Global English-Language-Learner Trends. Education Week. Retrieved on 2017-01-17.
  3. ^ The EF SET powers the EF EPI. EF SET. Retrieved on 2017-10-05.
  4. ^ The EF EPI. ef.com. Retrieved on 2017-10-05.
  5. ^ Low English Levels Can Hurt Countries' Progress. New York Times. Retrieved on 2017-01-17.
  6. ^ Women and managers are better at speaking English, study on proficiency finds. Business Insider. Retrieved on 2018-11-09
  7. ^ a b c EF English Proficiency Index – Comparing English skills between countries – EF EPI. Ef.com. Retrieved on 2018-11-09.
  8. ^ Minh Tran: Countries with High English Proficiency Are More Innovative. Harvard Business Review. "Minh Tran is Director of Research and Partnerships for EF Education First and a member of the team that launched the EF Standard English Test." Retrieved on 2017-01-17.
  9. ^ How Well Does Your Country Speak English?. Voice of America. Retrieved on 2017-1-17.
  10. ^ Which countries are best at English as a second language?. World Economic Forum. Retrieved on 2017-1-17.
  11. ^ Women are better than men at learning English. That’s not necessarily a good sign.. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2017-1-17.
  12. ^ See Score caluculation/calculation
  13. ^ SurveyLang project. European Commission. Retrieved on 2012-09-20.

External links

Central Europe

Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of Europe. It is said to occupy continuous territory that are otherwise conventionally Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical, social and cultural identity. Central Europe is going through a phase of "strategic awakening", with initiatives such as the CEI, Centrope and the Visegrád Four. While the region's economy shows high disparities with regard to income, all Central European countries are listed by the Human Development Index as very highly developed.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic (; Spanish: República Dominicana Spanish pronunciation: [reˈpuβliˌka ðoˌminiˈkana]) is a country located in the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area (after Cuba) at 48,671 square kilometers (18,792 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10 million people, of which approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5, 1492, which the native Taíno people had inhabited since the 7th century. The colony of Santo Domingo became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, the oldest continuously inhabited city, and the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821. The leader of the independence movement José Núñez de Cáceres, intended the Dominican nation to unite with the country of Gran Colombia, but no longer under Spain's custody the newly independent Dominicans were forcefully annexed by Haiti in February 1822. Independence came 22 years later after victory in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844. Over the next 72 years the Dominican Republic experienced mostly internal conflicts and a brief return to colonial status before permanently ousting Spanish rule during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1863–1865. A United States occupation lasted eight years between 1916 and 1924, and a subsequent calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez was followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo until 1961. A civil war in 1965, the country's last, was ended by U.S. military occupation and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer (1966–1978 & 1986–1996), the rules of Antonio Guzmán (1972–1978) & Salvador Jorge Blanco (1982–1986). Since 1996, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time since 1996. Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic's current president, succeeded Fernandez in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía.The Dominican Republic has the ninth-largest economy in Latin America and is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Over the last two decades, the Dominican Republic has had one of the fastest-growing economies in the Americas – with an average real GDP growth rate of 5.4% between 1992 and 2014. GDP growth in 2014 and 2015 reached 7.3 and 7.0%, respectively, the highest in the Western Hemisphere. In the first half of 2016 the Dominican economy grew 7.4% continuing its trend of rapid economic growth. Recent growth has been driven by construction, manufacturing, tourism, and mining. The country is the site of the second largest gold mine in the world, the Pueblo Viejo mine. Private consumption has been strong, as a result of low inflation (under 1% on average in 2015), job creation, as well as a high level of remittances.

The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. The year-round golf courses are major attractions. A geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to both the Caribbean's tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, and the Caribbean's largest lake and point of lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. The island has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great climatic and biological diversity. The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress built in the Americas, located in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, a World Heritage Site. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport.

EF Education First

EF Education First (abbreviated as EF) is an international education company that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs, and cultural exchange. The company was founded in 1965 by Bertil Hult in the Swedish university town of Lund. The company is privately held by the Hult family.

As of 2017, EF had approximately 46,000 employees in 116 countries. In Australia, EF is quality endorsed by NEAS Australia.

English in the Commonwealth of Nations

The use of the English language in most member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations was inherited from British colonisation. Mozambique is an exception – although English is widely spoken there, it is a former Portuguese colony which joined the Commonwealth in 1996. English is spoken as a first or second language in most of the Commonwealth. In a few countries, such as Cyprus and Malaysia, it does not have official status, but is widely used as a lingua franca.

Many regions, notably Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean, have developed their own native varieties of the language, primarily at the spoken and informal written level.

These varieties of English are sometimes collectively called Commonwealth English; this term may have originated with the 1962 publication of Aid to Commonwealth English, a TEFL resource, by the British Council. In practical usage, the term usually includes the original British English, as well as Irish and Hong Kong English (despite neither country being a member of the Commonwealth), but often excludes Canadian English, which has many distinct features due to amalgamation with American English and influences from French.

Written English as used in the Commonwealth generally favours British spelling as opposed to American, with some exceptions in Canada, where there is a strong influence from neighbouring American English (collectively, the US and Canadian dialects form North American English). Few Commonwealth countries besides Canada and Australia have produced their own dictionaries and style guides from major publishers, and rely on those produced in the United Kingdom, especially for formal writing.

The report of the Inter-Governmental Group on Criteria for Commonwealth Membership states that English is a symbol of Commonwealth heritage and unity.

Indian English

Indian English refers to dialects of the English language characteristic of the Republic of India. The Constitution of India designates the co-official language of the Government of India as English.

International rankings of Indonesia

The following are international rankings of Indonesia.

International rankings of Malaysia

The following are international rankings of Malaysia.

International rankings of Poland

These are the international rankings of Poland.

International rankings of Portugal

These are the international rankings of Portugal.

International rankings of Taiwan

The following are the international rankings of Taiwan.

International rankings of Thailand

The following are international rankings of Thailand.

Language proficiency

Language proficiency or linguistic proficiency is the ability of an individual to speak or perform in a language. As theories among pedagogues as to what constitutes proficiency go, there is little consistency as to how different organizations classify it. Additionally, fluency and language competence are generally recognized as being related, but separate controversial subjects. In predominant frameworks in the United States, proficient speakers demonstrate both accuracy and fluency, and use a variety of discourse strategies. Thus, native speakers of a language can be fluent without being considered proficient. Native-level fluency is estimated to be between 20,000 and 40,000 words, but basic conversational fluency might require only as little as 3,000 words.

Languages of Norway

There are a large number of languages spoken in Norway. Of these, the Norwegian language is the most widely spoken and the main official language of the country.

List of countries by English-speaking population

The following is a list of English-speaking population by country, including information on both native speakers and second-language speakers.

Some of the entries in this list are dependent territories (eg: U.S. Virgin Islands), autonomous regions (eg: Hong Kong) or associated states (eg: Cook Islands) of other countries, rather than being fully sovereign countries in their own right.

List of international rankings

This is a list of international rankings.


Lithuania ( (listen); Lithuanian: Lietuva [lʲɪɛtʊˈvɐ]), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Since its independence, Lithuania is considered to be one of the Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.7 million people as of 2019, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state personal union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighbouring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.

As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania.

Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, eurozone, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It is also a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, and part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries. The United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very high human development" country.


Malaysia ( (listen) mə-LAY-zee-ə, -⁠zhə; Malay: [məlejsiə]) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand in the north and maritime borders with Singapore in the south, Vietnam in the northeast, and Indonesia in the west. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.

Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire when the Straits Settlements became British protectorates. Peninsular Malaysia was unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation. The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, which plays a large role in its politics. About half the population is ethnically Malay, with large minorities of Malaysian Chinese (the second largest community of Overseas Chinese in the world), Malaysian Indians, and indigenous peoples. The constitution grants freedom of religion but recognises Islam as the established religion of the state. The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on common law. The head of state is the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The country's official language is Bahasa Melayu, commonly known as the Malay language. English remains an active second language. In 2017, English proficiency in Malaysia was ranked the 2nd best in Asia (after Singapore) and the 13th best in the world.A member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia since its independence from the United Kingdom with its GDP growing at an average of 6.5% per annum for almost 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism. It is also one of the few developing countries to heavily subsidise education and healthcare. Malaysian citizens are entitled to free public education up to secondary level and public tertiary education fees are subsidised by up to 90%. Basic healthcare services at government-run clinics with prescription cost RM1. Disabled persons, senior citizens and public school students are entitled to free healthcare. Malaysian healthcare services have been described as among the best in the world, and the UN Development Program called the Malaysian healthcare system "a model to other developing countries".Malaysia's recent rapid development has attracted millions of migrant workers from across Asia. The majority of these migrants are undocumented, a situation which the Malaysian government is struggling to combat, with its treatment and crackdown on migrant workers often criticised by international human rights watchdogs. Malaysia has a newly industrialised market economy, ranked 4th largest in Southeast Asia and 38th largest in the world. With a GDP per capita of $10,430 and an HDI of 0.802, Malaysia is classified as an emerging economy by the World Bank. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also classifies Malaysia as an emerging and developing country. Malaysia is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the East Asia Summit, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement. In 2019, Malaysian citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Malaysian passport the 12th most accepted in the world.


Sweden (; Swedish: Sverige [ˈsværjɛ] (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige ), is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats (Swedish Götar) and Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in general very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers. Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, which is also the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.

An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture, finances and languages. This led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and eventually the Swedish Empire was formed. This became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 openly moved towards cooperation with NATO.

After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum. It is also a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. It has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks highly in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality, prosperity and human development.

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