There are 983 million people in the world who speak English, or 13% of the world's population, according to Ethnologue.It is estimated 372 million speak English as their first language, while 611 million speak English as a second language.
The British Council claims that 25 percent of the world's population has some understanding of English. However, this statistic does not differentiate between fluent or native speakers and those who only understand a few simple phrases. A study published in Science estimates 9 percent of the world spoke English as a first language by the middle of the 19th century. The same study believes only 5 percent of the world will speak English as a first language by 2050.