English is the world’s most widely spoken language – however, of a total 1.5bn speakers, only 375m are classified as native. Therefore, around the world over 1bn people speak English as a second language, but where is proficiency highest?

1511B26-best speakers english second language sweden netherlands

Source: Statista

Sweden has emerged as the nation with the highest English language proficiency, according to the EF EPI English Proficiency Index. The Scandinavian nation tops the list with a score of 70.94. Sweden’s high English proficiency can be attributed to, in part, a high-quality education, the popularity of English speaking films and music and grammatical and phonological similarities between the two languages.

Second place goes to the Netherlands, just behind with a score of 70.58. Denmark completes the top three, with a score of 70.05.

The first non-European state to appear on the list is Singapore, followed by Malaysia and Argentina.

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Author: Joe Myers is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content.

Image: A woman holds a Union flag umbrella in front of the Big Ben clock tower (R) and the Houses of Parliament in London October 4, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor