Travel Tips

Travel Tip: The Most and Least English Proficient Countries

Photo By: Victor Korniyenko

If English is your first language and also your only language, you’re not alone.

Only about 20% of Americans speak a foreign language with some degree of fluency. And if you’re a traveler, it helps to know which countries’ citizens have the highest English language proficiency.

Are you going to Argentina or Chile? You’re in good shape. A growing number of their citizens speak English. But saying, “No hablo español”  won’t get you far in Colombia or Panama. These countries have been ranked among the 25 worst countries for English proficiency.

The world’s least English proficient country is Iraq, and it is closely followed by Libya and Laos.

On the flip side, the most English proficient foreign country is The Netherlands. About 90% of Dutch citizens speak some level of English. And what about the rest of Europe? About 66% of all Europeans are bilingual or multilingual. 

For more on foreign languages, check out:

Learning New Languages Through Conversation

Translation Apps That Can Help You While Traveling

Language Immersion Vacations