EPRS Admin By / September 25, 2018

Population of EU most-least spoken official languages as mother tongues

Population of EU most/least spoken official languages as mother tongues, in millions

Population of EU most/least spoken official languages as mother tongues, in millions

Article 165(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union says that the EU shall respect the Member States’ cultural and linguistic diversity and contribute to the teaching and dissemination of its Member States’ languages. Yet, huge disparities in the number of native speakers of the EU Member States’ official languages make this task difficult. For example, German is spoken as a mother tongue in Germany (the largest Member State) and Austria as well as part of Belgium, while Irish is only spoken as a mother tongue by roughly 2.5 % of the Irish population (in total, a twentieth that of Germany).


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