English skills don’t just matter because they are the career currency of the future and a ticket to a global, connected future for the individual. They also matter at the national level because they can tell us a lot about a country’s level of economic competitiveness and future prospects.
In EF Education First’s9th English Proficiency Index(EF EPI), we compiled test data from 2.3 million adults across 100 countries and used this data to rank nations according to their English skills – from very high to very low.
The following are key findings from this year’s report:
- EU on top: Countries in the European Union once again have the highest overall English proficiency level – although Spain and Italy continue to lag behind their EU neighbors, while France’s scores continue to improve
- Youth reigns: Adults aged 26-30 have the strongest English skills thanks to a mix of university education, on-the-job practice, and formal training
- Get promoted: Managers speak better English than non-managers in most industries and countries
- English spreads ideas: Academic articles published in English have a greater impact than articles published in other languages
The results also unearthed enlightening correlations between levels of English and factors like higher incomes, greater connectivity, and innovation that may be used to inform public discussions and policymaking.
Although the findings of the EF EPI may not tell the whole story, they do tell an important one: high English proficiency levels are part and parcel of a future that is prosperous, connected, and healthy, no matter where you are in the world.
For full national rankings and analysis of the relationship between your country’s English skills and its economy, level of innovation, connectivity, birth rate, and life expectancy, go to www.ef.com/epi.