How many people speak Chinese?

There are many varieties of Chinese with over 1.3 billion speakers in various countries. This page shows many people speak each variety of Chinese, and where they can be found.


Gan (赣语 / 江西话)

Gan is a variety of Chinese spoken in the Chinese provinces of Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Fujian and Hunan.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 22,200,000 2018

Information about Gan

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Hakka (客家话)

Hakka is a variety of Chinese spoken by 43.2 million people, mainly in the Chinese province of Guangdong, and also in Fujian, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi and Sichuan, and various other countries.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 36,600,000 2019
China (ROC - Taiwan) 4,240,000 2017
Malaysia 1,090,000 2000
Indonesia 640,000 1982
China (Hong Kong) 289,300 2016
Singapore 233,000 2010
Thailand 58,800 1984
Panama 27,000 2017
French Guinea 14,400 2017
Réunion 11,400 2017
Canada 10,900 2016
Suriname 9,000 2018
Australia 8,990 2016
USA 3,800 2015
Brunei 3,000 2004
French Polynesia 1,100 2015
Cambodia 500 2011

Information about Hakka | Phrases | Numbers | Family words | Tower of Babel

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Huizhou (徽州話)

Huizhou is a variety of Chinese spoken mainly in Anhui province, and also in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 5,380,000 2019

Information about Huizhou Chinese
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huizhou_Chinese
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/czh

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Jinyu (晋语)

Jinyu or Jin is a variety of Chinese spoken in northern China, mainly in the provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hebei, Henan and in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 47,100,000 2018

Information about Jinyu Chinese
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Chinese
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/cjy

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Mandarin (普通话 / 国语 / 华语)

Mandarin is spoken by 1.12 million people mainly in China, and also in quite a few other countries:

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 1,085,000,000 2018
Republic of China (Taiwan) 19,580,000 2017
China (Hong Kong) 3,421,000 2016
USA 2,896,766 2015
Singapore 2,840,000 2016
Vietnam 2,000,000 2004
Malaysia 1,230,000 2015
Myanmar 994,000 2015
Australia 597,000 2016
Canada 592,000 2016
Japan 549,000 2016
Cambodia 498,000 2015
Indonesia 466,000 2005
China (Macao) 362,000 2016

Smaller numbers of Mandarin speakers are found in quite a few other countries. See: https://www.ethnologue.com/language/cmn

Information about Mandarin | Phrases | Numbers | Colours | Family words | Time | Tongue twisters | Video lessons | Tower of Babel | Articles | Links | Learning materials

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Northern Min (閩北語)

Northern Min or Min Bei is a variety of Min Chinese spoken by 11 milion people mainly in Fujian province in eastern China, and also in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces, and in Singapore.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 11,100,000 2018
Singapore 15,200 2004

Information about Min Bin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Min
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/mnp

Information about Min languages

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Eastern Min (闽东语)

Eastern Min or Min Dong is a variety of Min Chinese spoken by 10.8 milion people mainly in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, and also in several other countries

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 10,500,000 2019
Malaysia 252,000 2004
Singapore 56,000 2018
Brunei 6,000 2004
USA 4,080 2015

Information about Min Dong
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Min
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/cdo

Information about Min languages

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Southern Min (閩南語 / 闽南语)

Southern Min or Min Nan is a variety of Min Chinese spoken by 48.5 milion people southern China, Taiwan, and a number of other countries.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 27,700,000 2018
China (ROC - Taiwan) 13,500,000 2017
Malaysia 2,660,000 2000
Thailand 1,080,000 1984
Philippines 1,000,000 2010
Indonesia 766,000 2015
Singapore 625,000 2015
China (Hong Kong) 493,000 2016
Cambodia 350,000 2001
USA 219,000 2015
Japan 75,000 2013
Canada 31,800 2016
Australia 17,900 2016
Brunei 13,300 2004
New Zealand 6,190 2013

Information about Min Nan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Min
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/nan

Information about Min languages

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Central Min (闽中语)

Central Min or Min Zhong is a variety of Min Chinese spoken in Fujian province in China.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 3,620,000 2019

Information about Min Nan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Min
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/czo

Information about Min languages

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Pu-Xian Min (莆仙话)

Pu-Xian Min is a variety of Min Chinese spoken by 3.1 milion people mainly in Fujian province in China, and also in Malaysia and Singapore.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 3,140,000 2019
Singapore 27,000 2018
Malaysia 24,700 2006

Information about Pu-Xian Min

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Northern Pinghua (桂北平话)

Northern Pinghua is a variety of Chinese spoken in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 1,760,000 2017

Information about Pinghua
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinghua
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/cnp

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Southern Pinghua (桂南平话)

Southern Pinghua is a variety of Chinese spoken in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 2,370,000 2017

Information about Pinghua
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinghua
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/csp

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Wu (吴语)

Wu is a group of Chinese languages spoken by about 81.8 million people mainly in the provinces of Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Zhejiang in China, and also in a number of other countries.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 81,700,000 2018
China (Hong Kong) 77,500 2016
Canada 12,900 2016
USA 7,510 2015
Japan 7,000 2013
Australia 3,380 2016

Information about Wu

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Xiang (湘语)

Xiang is a variety of Chinese spoken in Hunan, Guizhou and Hubei provinces and in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 37,400,000 2018

Information about Xiang

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Yue (粵語 / 粤语)

Yue is a group of Chinese languages spoken by about 84.8 million people mainly in southern China in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan and Hunan provinces, and Hong Kong and Macau, and also in a number of other countries.

Country Number of speakers Date
China (PRC) 73,300,000 2019
Chinese (Hong Kong) 6,662,000 2016
USA 1,290,000 2015
Malaysia 1,070,000 2000
Canada 565,000 2016
China (Macau) 507,000 2016
Vietnam 500,000 2004
Australia 281,000 2016
Singapore 227,000 2015
Indonesia 182,000 2005
New Zealand 44,600 2013
UK 44,400 2011
Japan 36,000 2013
Panama 32,000 2017
Thailand 29,400 1984
Laos 21,400 2004
Sweden 20,300 2012
Cambodia 20,000 2011
South Africa 15,000 1993
Réunion 14,000 2017
Philippines 9,780 2000
Suriname 6,700 2018
Brunei 6,300 2004
Costa Rica 4,500 2011
Puerto Rico 1,680 2018
Honduras 1,000 1999

Information about Yue

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Sinitic (Chinese) languages

Dungan, Cantonese, Fuzhounese, Gan, Hakka, Mandarin, Puxian, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, Teochew, Wenzhounese, Xiang


Chinese pages

Written Chinese: Oracle Bone Script, Simplified characters, Bopomofo, Types of characters, Structure of written Chinese, Evolution of characters, How the Chinese script works

Spoken Chinese: Mandarin, Dungan, Wu, Shanghainese, Wenzhounese, Yue, Cantonese, Min, Taiwanese, Teochew, Fuzhounese, Puxian, Hakka, Xiang, Gan, How many people speak Chinese?

Other Chinese pages: Chinese numbers (數碼) | Chinese classifiers (量詞) | Video lessons | Electronic dictionaries | Chinese links | Books: Chinese characters and calligraphy | Cantonese | Mandarin, Shanghainese, Hokkien and Taiwanese



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