Danes Best at Speaking English as a Second Language  

2014.11.17

A new study ranks Danes as the best non-native English speakers in the world. All Danish age cohorts have significantly higher scores than the European and world averages.

Motivated Danish employees

Denmark has come out on top of the English Proficiency Index (EPI) made by Education First (EF). The EPI ranks Danes as the best non-native English speakers in the world, followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland and Austria. The EPI is based on the world’s largest study of the English skills of the adult populations of 63 non-Commonwealth countries.

Denmark on top

Denmark tops the EPI with a proficiency score of 69.3, which is significantly higher than the average score of 56.92. Denmark’s proficiency score has increased by 2.72 points over the last seven years, and with a recent public school reform introducing English from the first grade in Denmark that number could very well continue to increase in the future.

English is an asset

This fourth edition of the study found that the world’s population is getting better at speaking English and that Europe’s English proficiency remains far higher than other regions’. The study also found strong positive correlations between English and several economic and social indicators hereunder ease of doing business and quality of life.

The EPI demonstrates a significant gender gap when it comes to English skills, with women speaking better English than men worldwide and in nearly every country surveyed. This gender skill gap is smaller in Denmark than in most other countries.

About the EF EPI

EF is the world's largest educational company, specializing in language learning, academic programs and cultural exchange. Founded in 1965, EF operates 500 schools and offices across 52 countries. The 2014 EPI can be accessed here.

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