Only 8% of South Africans speak English at home - report

IsiZulu is by far the most spoken language in SA. English is the sixth most common home language, with 8.1% of people speaking it at home. However, outside the home English is the second most spoken language.
IsiZulu is by far the most spoken language in SA. English is the sixth most common home language, with 8.1% of people speaking it at home. However, outside the home English is the second most spoken language.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu/Sowetan

IsiZulu is South Africa's most spoken language. This according to StatsSA's latest General Household Survey (GHS) which released its report at the end of May.

The statistics are based on the languages most commonly spoken at home, work and school.

Just more than  25.3% of individuals speak isiZulu at home, while 14.8%  speak isiXhosa and 12.2% speak Afrikaans.

The sixth most common home language in SA is English, with 8.1% of people speaking it at home.

However, English is the second most commonly spoken language outside the household at 16.6%, after isiZulu at 25.1%. IsiXhosa is at 12.8%.

StatsSA noted that the use of most languages outside the household declined, with the notable exceptions of isiZulu and Setswana.

See the full report below:

Percentage of languages spoken by household members inside and outside household by population group
Percentage of languages spoken by household members inside and outside household by population group
Image: StatSA

Other findings around SA languages

The Indian/Asian population group is the most monolingual, with 92.1% speaking English at home.

More than 77.4% of coloured individuals speak Afrikaans at home, while 20.1% use English.

More than 61.2% of white South Africans speak Afrikaans and 36.3% speak English.

Black Africans speak a much larger variety of languages. Besides the two most commonly spoken languages, isiZulu (31.1%) and isiXhosa (18.2%), StatsSA noted that sub-groups of black African individuals also spoke Sepedi (12.4%), Setswana (11.1%) and Sesotho (9.7%).


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