These are the most-spoken languages in South Africa in 2019

StatSA has released its latest General Household Survey (GHS), revealing the most popular languages in South Africa.

The statistics are based on the languages most commonly spoken at home, and outside of the house  – including at work and school.

Nationally, just over one quarter (25,3%) of individuals speak isiZulu at home, while 14.8% of individuals speak isiXhosa, and 12.2% speak Afrikaans.

English is spoken by 8.1% of individuals at home, making it the sixth most common home language in South Africa.

English is, however, the second most commonly spoken language outside the household (16.6%) after isiZulu (25.1%), and preceding. IsiXhosa (12.8%).

StatsSA said it is notable that the use of most languages outside the household declined – with the exceptions of isiZulu and Setswana.

According to StatsSA’s data, the Indian/Asian population group is the most monolingual with 92.1% speaking English at home.

More than three-quarters (77.4%) of coloured individuals speak Afrikaans at home while 20.1% use English.

More than three-fifths (61,2%) of white South Africans speak Afrikaans and 36.3% speak English.

By comparison, black Africans speak a much larger variety of languages, StatsSA said.

Besides the two most commonly spoken languages, isiZulu (31.1%) and isiXhosa (18.2%), notable sub-groups of black African individuals also spoke Sepedi (12.4%), Setswana (11.1%) and Sesotho (9.7%).


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These are the most-spoken languages in South Africa in 2019