List of territorial entities where German is an official language

The following is a list of the countries where German is an official language. In some of these countries, German is spoken only by a minority of the people.

The national and regional standard varieties of the German language.

German as an official language

German is an official language in six sovereign states, which have a combined population of over 100 million people.

Switzerland has four national languages (German, French, Italian, Romansch), of which German is the most spoken with almost 65% of the population claiming it as a first language.[1] However, this figure includes the related local dialects of German that are not mutually intelligible with Standard German, which is the official form of the language used in government, education, trade, and media.

Belgium is officially a trilingual country where German is spoken natively by about 1% of the population and by about 27% as a second language. The German-speaking community is concentrated in the southeastern part of the country.

While Luxembourgish is the national language of Luxembourg, French and German are the primary official languages.

Country Population 2010[2] More information
Germany 81,802,257 Languages of Germany
Belgium 10,839,905 Languages of Belgium, German speaking community of Belgium
Austria 8,375,290 Languages of Austria
Switzerland 7,785,806 Languages of Switzerland, Swiss German
Luxembourg 502,066 Languages of Luxembourg
Liechtenstein 36,281 Languages of Liechtenstein

Dependent entities

As a result of Austria-Hungary's defeat in World War I, Italy was awarded the province of South Tyrol. Despite an increase in the Italian-speaking population in the province since then, the majority language still remains German and the province became officially bilingual following its granting of autonomy in 1972. Additionally, 22 communes in the Opole Voivodeship of Poland designate German as an auxiliary language, permitting citizens to obtain public services in German when requested.
Region Country Population Status More information
South Tyrol Italy 511,750 Autonomous province of Italy South Tirol Languages
22 communes in Opole Voivodeship Poland Bilingual communes Bilingual communes in Poland

Commonly used language

German was removed as an official language of Namibia following its independence from South Africa in 1990, due to it being stigmatised as having colonial overtones along with Afrikaans.[3] Nevertheless, it is considered a national language and is widely used in everyday life, especially in commerce, public signage, media and cultural institutions.[4]
Country Population 2010[2] More information
Namibia 2,105,290 Languages of Namibia

See also


  1. ^ Lüdi, Georges; Werlen, Iwar (April 2005). "Recensement Fédéral de la Population 2000 — Le Paysage Linguistique en Suisse" (Portable Document Format) (in French, German, Italian). Neuchâtel: Office fédéral de la statistique. Retrieved 5 January 2006. 
  2. ^ a b See: List of countries by population in 2010
  3. ^ "Namibia Travel Guide". Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Deutsch in Namibia" (PDF) (in German). Supplement of the Allgemeine Zeitung. 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
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