1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Where Is German Spoken?

Chart of German-speaking countries


The chart below shows where in the world German is spoken and how many people speak it.

Deutschsprachige Länder

German Is the Dominant Language

  • Germany - 82.7 million
  • Austria - 8.1 million
  • Switzerland - 4.6 million1
  • Liechtenstein - 32,000
1 The rest of Switzerland's 7.2 million citizens speak French, Italian and Romansch.

German Has Official Status

  • Luxembourg - 400,0002
  • Italy (Bolzano/Südtirol) - 200,000
  • Belgium - 70,000

2 Lëtzebuergisch, a German dialect, is spoken by most Luxembourgers and German is the language of instruction in the lower grades. But French is used for official business. Web: Languages in Luxembourg

German Is Regional/Minority Language

  • Former Soviet Union - 1.9 million3
  • France (Alsatian) - 1.5 million3
  • Poland (Silesia) - 500,000 (400,000)
  • Romania - 150,0004
  • Hungary - 62,000
  • Czech Republic - 50,0004
  • Denmark - 35,000
  • Slovakia - 15,0004

Other Areas: There are also minority groups of German dialect speakers found in certain areas of North America (Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, etc.), in Kazakhstan, Namibia (former German Southwest Africa), Argentina, Paraguay, and other non-European regions.

3 This figure (from various sources) is probably too high because many of the ethnic Germans have now either been assimilated, died off, or left the region.
4 1998 data (Romania, 1993) from Ethnologue.com

NOTE: Unless noted otherwise, the figures above are based on population estimates for the year 2000. Sources include The New York Times Almanac, The World Almanac and Book of Facts (World Almanac Books), and Deutsche Welle.

BACK > Part One of this article

Related Pages

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. German Language
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Dialects
  6. Where Is German Spoken? Chart of German-Speaking Countries

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.