In News: The 22nd edition of the world language database Ethnologue has been launched on Mother Language Day.


  • In Bangladesh, since 1953, February 21 is observed as Ekushe Day. According to the South Asia Democratic Forum, five among those killed in protests that day were recognised as “language martyrs. 
  • UNESCO declared International Mother Language Day in 1999, to commemorate a 1952 protest against West Pakistan’s imposition of Urdu as the official language of East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh).

Key highlights of 22nd edition of Ethnologue: 

  • 2019 has been declared by the United Nations to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. 
  • Globally, English remains the most widely spoken language with 1.13 billion speakers in 2019, followed by Mandarin with 1.17 billion, according to the online database Ethnologue. 

  • With respect to India
  • Hindi is the most spoken language with over 528 million speakers in 2011, as per the Census. 
  • Hindi with 615 million speakers is the 3rd most spoken language of the world in 2019 .
  • Percentage trends from 1991 to 2011 underline the growth of the most widely spoken language, Hindi, which was spoken by 39.29% of the Indian population in 1991, and whose share grew to 43.63% in 2011. 



  1. It was established in 1951 and  It brings out an yearly database of living languages of the world .
  2. This time the database covered 7,111 living languages of the world.
  3. Along with living languages, it also contains data on languages which have gone out of use in recent history.This time this list contains 348 languages.
  4. Ethnologue brings together more data than any other resource of its kind
  5. It helps to  find what you need for any language – from populations to maps, dialects, usage, and more.