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Summary by language family

The genetic classifications given in the language entries of Part I name 94 different language families (that is, top-level genetic groups). Six of these, each of which has at least 5% of the world's languages, stand out as the major language families of the world. Together they account for nearly two-thirds of all languages and five-sixths of the world's population. Table 3 summarizes the distribution of languages and their populations within these six families. The columns are as for table 1, with the addition of a final column listing the countries under which the main entries for the languages of that family are found in Part I.

In addition to the other 88 language families, the genetic classification scheme also includes special categories for artificial languages, creoles, deaf sign languages, language isolates, mixed languages, pidgins, and unclassified languages. Table 4 summarizes the distribution of languages and their populations for these other language families and special categories. In most cases the population as a percentage of the world population is negligible; a figure is shown in that column only when the value is at least one-hundredth of one percent. Together tables 3 and 4 account for all known living languages of the world.

Table 3. Major language families of the world

Language family    Living languages Number of speakers Countries
Count Percent Count Percent Mean Median
Afro-Asiatic 353 5.11339,478,607 5.93961,696 20,151 Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, Chad, Cyprus, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen
Austronesian 1,246 18.03 311,740,132 5.45250,193 3,384 Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Indonesia, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mayotte, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, USA, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Wallis and Futuna
Indo-European 430 6.222,562,896,428 44.78 5,960,224 150,000 Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, USA, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela
Niger-Congo 1,495 21.63 358,091,103 6.26239,526 26,000 Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Sino-Tibetan 399 5.771,275,531,921 22.28 3,196,822 18,686 Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Viet Nam
Trans-New Guinea 561 8.123,359,894 0.065,989 1,245 Australia, East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Totals 4,484 64.87 4,851,098,085 84.75

Table 4. Other language families of the world

Language family    Living languages Number of speakers Countries
Count Percent Count Percent Mean Median
Alacalufan 10.01 20 2020 Chile
Algic 310.45 194,980 6,290 3,995 Canada, USA
Altaic 640.93 145,069,278 2.532,266,707 65,000 Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Amto-Musan 20.03 270 13570 Papua New Guinea
Andamanese 40.06 521 13096 India
Arauan 70.10 3,333 476195 Brazil
Araucanian 20.03 302,000 151,000 2,000 Chile
Arawakan 490.71 670,565 0.0113,685 1,300 Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Honduras, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Artificial language 10.01 1,100 1,100 1,100 France
Arutani-Sape 20.03 24 125 Brazil, Venezuela
Australian 2243.24 35,227 15710 Australia
Austro-Asiatic 1692.45 101,339,384 1.77599,641 8,000 Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam
Aymaran 30.04 2,228,378 0.04742,793 736 Bolivia, Peru
Barbacoan 50.07 42,350 8,470 3,450 Colombia, Ecuador
Basque 30.04 664,308 0.01221,436 67,500 France, Spain
Bayono-Awbono 20.03 200 100100 Indonesia
Caddoan 40.06 68 1720 USA
Cahuapanan 20.03 11,384 5,692 11,384 Peru
Carib 290.42 67,815 2,338 450 Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela
Chapacura-Wanham 40.06 1,978 49440 Brazil
Chibchan 210.30 254,846 12,136 2,000 Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
Chimakuan 10.01 10 1010 USA
Choco 70.10 69,570 9,939 8,050 Colombia, Panama
Chon 20.03 6 32 Argentina
Chukotko-Kamchatkan 50.07 13,712 2,742 150 Russia
Creole 821.19 28,815,529 0.50351,409 34,500 Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Micronesia, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Réunion, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, São Tomé e Príncipe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, USA, Uganda, Vanuatu
Deaf sign language 1191.72 Unknown Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, South, Laos, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, USA, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Dravidian 731.06 221,515,995 3.873,034,466 24,000 India, Nepal, Pakistan
East Bird's Head 30.04 34,783 11,594 12,000 Indonesia
East Papuan 330.48 123,095 3,730 2,200 Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands
Eskimo-Aleut 100.14 89,115 8,912 4,000 Canada, Greenland, Russia, USA
Geelvink Bay Bay 330.48 20,824 631250 Indonesia
Guahiban 50.07 28,651 5,730 1,237 Colombia
Harakmbet 20.03 811 406311 Peru
Hmong-Mien 350.51 6,284,271 0.11179,551 50,000 China, Viet Nam
Hokan 190.27 9,500 50075 Mexico, USA
Huavean 40.06 18,344 4,586 900 Mexico
Iroquoian 70.10 22,687 3,241 175 Canada, USA
Japanese 120.17 123,445,034 2.1610,287,086 5,000 Japan
Jivaroan 40.06 99,292 24,823 9,333 Ecuador, Peru
Kartvelian 50.07 4,806,404 0.08961,281 79,800 Georgia, Israel, Turkey
Katukinan 30.04 658 21910 Brazil
Keres 20.03 7,971 3,986 3,391 USA
Khoisan 220.32 363,600 16,527 4,200 Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania
Kiowa Tanoan 50.07 6,249 1,250 1,298 USA
Kwomtari-Baibai 60.09 3,402 567345 Papua New Guinea
Language Isolate 360.52 67,284,147 1.181,869,004 619 Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, South, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, USA, Venezuela
Left May 60.09 1,990 332330 Papua New Guinea
Lower Mamberamo 20.03 800 400200 Indonesia
Lule-Vilela 10.01 20 2020 Argentina
Macro-Ge 240.35 51,037 2,127 728 Bolivia, Brazil
Maku 60.09 2,551 425300 Brazil, Colombia
Mascoian 40.06 16,160 4,040 2,500 Paraguay
Mataco-Guaicuru 110.16 92,800 8,436 2,008 Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
Mayan 680.98 6,064,703 0.1189,187 36,000 Belize, Guatemala, Mexico
Misumalpan 20.03 190,800 95,400 7,400 Nicaragua
Mixe-Zoque 170.25 153,330 9,019 5,200 Mexico
Mixed Language 190.27 678,572 0.0135,714 2,000 Armenia, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Malawi, Micronesia, Niger, Norway, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, USA, United Kingdom
Mura 10.01 150 150150 Brazil
Muskogean 60.09 15,307 2,551 496 USA
Na-Dene 410.59 180,272 4,397 80 Canada, USA
Nambiquaran 30.04 1,346 449136 Brazil
Nilo-Saharan 1972.85 34,953,324 0.61177,428 40,000 Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
North Caucasian 330.48 4,616,040 0.08139,880 6,693 Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia
Oto-Manguean 1722.49 1,903,398 0.0311,066 4,729 Mexico
Panoan 190.27 42,428 2,233 387 Bolivia, Brazil, Peru
Peba-Yaguan 10.01 5,692 5,692 5,692 Peru
Penutian 230.33 5,653 24612 Canada, USA
Pidgin 50.07 100 20100 Canada, India, Liberia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea
Quechuan 450.65 10,100,102 0.18224,447 25,000 Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Salishan 190.27 3,144 16575 Canada, USA
Salivan 30.04 16,135 5,378 2,500 Colombia, Venezuela
Sepik-Ramu 1001.45 238,123 2,381 745 Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Siouan 120.17 32,614 2,718 100 Canada, USA
Sko 70.10 5,666 809640 Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Subtiaba-Tlapanec 40.06 70,143 17,536 3,461 Mexico
Tacanan 60.09 5,054 8421,180 Bolivia
Tai-Kadai 741.07 78,375,999 1.371,059,135 25,000 China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam
Tarascan 20.03 120,000 60,000 120,000 Mexico
Torricelli 530.77 111,265 2,099 952 Papua New Guinea
Totonacan 110.16 286,670 26,061 4,000 Mexico
Tucanoan 200.29 22,563 1,128 550 Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Tupi 600.87 5,017,354 0.0983,623 200 Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Paraguay, Peru
Unclassified 430.62 501,237 0.0111,657 622 Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Spain, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Viet Nam
Uralic 360.52 22,623,030 0.40628,418 5,000 Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Sweden
Uru-Chipaya 20.03 1,202 6012 Bolivia
Uto-Aztecan 560.81 1,947,164 0.0334,771 5,144 El Salvador, Mexico, USA
Wakashan 40.06 760 190200 Canada
West Papuan 260.38 310,142 11,929 4,600 Indonesia
Witotoan 60.09 7,749 1,292 150 Colombia, Peru
Yanomam 40.06 32,293 8,073 5,074 Brazil, Venezuela
Yeniseian 20.03 772 3862 Russia
Yukaghir 20.03 120 6030 Russia
Zamucoan 20.03 5,571 2,786 1,800 Paraguay
Zaparoan 40.06 91 235 Ecuador, Peru
Totals 2,428 35.13 872,763,125 15.25

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