German Is the Dominant Language
- Germany - 82.7 million
- Austria - 8.1 million
- Switzerland - 4.6 million1
- Liechtenstein - 32,000
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.
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