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IPFS News Link • World News

The State Of The World's 7,168 Languages

•, by Tyler Durden

This graphic via Visual Capitalist, from Stephen Jones, CEO of, shows the state of living languages around the world.

Mapping Out Living Languages

Across the 7,168 living languages today, 43% are at risk of being endangered.

In fact, a language dies off every 40 days. The vast majority of endangered languages are found in Indigenous communities, which risk the loss of culture and knowledge that they contain. At current rates, 90% of the world's languages could disappear over the next 100 years.

According to data from Ethnologue, languages are classified across 12 states of vitality and three broader categories:

Endangered: Children do not learn and use the language, it is no longer the norm.

Stable: A language is used in the home and community, all children learn the language, but it is not formally used in institutions.

Institutional: A language is used beyond the community across institutions.

Today, over 88 million people speak endangered languages.

The region of Oceania has the largest density of endangered languages, with 733 at risk. With a population of 8.8 million, Papua New Guinea is home to the most languages in the world. Often, small linguistic communities will have only a couple hundred people speaking the language.

Africa has 428 that are endangered, many which are clustered around the equator. Displacement, drought, and conflict are some of the key reasons that languages risk being endangered.

In North and Central America, 222 languages are at risk of extinction. In fact, 98% of Indigenous languages in the U.S. are endangered, one of the highest rates in the world.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are 490 institutional languages with 6.1 billion speakers worldwide.