5.6 - Global Dominance of English
English is the world's lingua franca, as it's used globally.
Lingua Franca and Pidgin Languages
Global Distribution of English
English is an official language in 55 countries, and the predominant language in Australia, US, and the UK, all three of which don't have a formal official language; thus, English has been adopted as a de facto language for the three countries. English first became widespread when the UK was settled during the 1200s, then moved to the West when the colonists sailed to North America, and to other parts of the world through the past 400 years. But it's the United States who's responsible for the hike in English speakers in the past 50 years.
English on the Internet
English has always been on top when it came to who used what language on the web. From when Internet became a thing in 1991, to the turn of the millennium in 2000, at least 75% of web surfers used English. But since then, other languages have been on the rise of popularity, especially Chinese. Scientists speculate that Mandarin Chinese will no longer be the most spoken tongue on the street, but also on the web, by 2020 if the language continues gaining users at its current rate.