Which countries do not have an official language?

According to Henry Hitchings Language Wars (2011) these nations do not currently have an official primary language:
  • UK see here
  • USA though 20 states now have an official language — see here
  • Australia Over 80% speak English but there is no official national language.
  • Pakistan Urdu became official language in 2015 but  only spoken by 8% of population.
  • Ethiopia Amharic is official language but most spoken is Oromo
  • Somalia
  • Eritrea 
  • Costa Rica

Why these countries?
 Read extended transcript on Medium 


  1. Thanks for sharing the article. I love this information. English Language, English has, of course, become the world's second language. So the appearance of the two giants of Anglosphere: the UK and the USA on the list may seem puzzling. I agree with this info. English achieved a natural preeminence without the need for any paperwork to support this role.

  2. You forgot to mention Australia & New Zealand. They both have the same situation as the UK and the US.

    1. You are quite right about Australia - will add to main post with a credit. New Zealand is different - despite English dominating and the country being more monolingual than Australia many respects the official languages are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. This article is wonderful thank you :)

  3. English shouldn't have to be a country's official language, since it is just used for communication.


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