Belgium has once again moved up the rankings in an international list of countries that are best for non-native English speakers, landing in 6th place for 2021.
The global ranking, produced by international education company EF Education First, analysed data based on test results of 2 million adults in 112 countries & regions.
"Despite the decline in travel, English continues to facilitate cross-border communication and cooperation as well as enabling new modes of work," commented Kate Bell, Author of the EF English Proficiency Index (EPI). "This year's EF EPI is more comprehensive than ever, providing valuable insights for governments to evaluate their language learning policies and highlight strategic areas to improve upon."
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Belgium narrowly missed out on a spot in the top 5 in the 2021 edition but overtook Sweden, Finland, Germany and Portugal to land in 6th place. The new top five countries with the best non-native English speakers are:
The rest of the band of "very high" proficiency countries are Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Germany, South Africa and Luxembourg.
"The average level of English within the EU has risen by an average of six points per year since 2011, making it the area of the world with the largest gains over the past decade," the organisation explained. "Portugal has improved its English by 116 points, more than any other country in the index."
Belgium has continued to climb the positions in the study rankings, placing 13th in 2019, 9th in 2020 and now 6th in 2021.