Speakers of English are also known as Anglophones, and the countries where English is natively spoken by the majority of the population are termed the Anglosphere. Over two billion people speak English as of the 2000s[update], making English the largest language by number of speakers, and the third largest language by number of native speakers.
England and the Scottish Lowlands, countries of the United Kingdom, are the birthplace of the English language, and the modern form of the language has been being spread around the world since the 17th century, first by the worldwide influence of the United Kingdom, and more recently by that of the United States. Through all types of printed and electronic media of these countries, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions and professional contexts such as science, navigation and law. The United Kingdom remains the largest English-speaking country in Europe.
The United States and India have the most total English speakers, with 283 million and 125 million, respectively. There are also 108 million in Pakistan, 79 million in Nigeria, and 64 million in the Philippines. When those who speak English as a second-language are included, estimates of the number of Anglophones vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion. David Crystal calculates that as of 2003[update] non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3:1. As of 2012[update], India claimed to have the world's second-largest English-speaking population: the most reliable estimate is around 10% of its population (125 million people), a number that is expected to have quadrupled by 2022.[needs update] When native and non-native speakers are combined, English is the most widely spoken language worldwide.
Besides the major varieties of English, such as American English, British English, Canadian English, Australian English, Irish English, New Zealand English, and their sub-varieties, countries such as South Africa, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from English-based creole languages to Standard English. Other countries, such as Ghana and Uganda, also use English as their primary official languages.