Belgium has climbed to ninth place in the English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), the world ranking that measures knowledge of English as a second language. The report, released on Wednesday, also shows a relatively large difference between mens’ and womens’ language skills in Belgium. Denmark ranked first in the fourth EF EPI Index and reached a score of 69.30 points. The Netherlands (68.99), Sweden (67.80), Finland (64.40) and Norway (64.33) rounded out the top five. The top ten is also composed exclusively of European countries. The lowest scores were found in North Africa and the Middle East.
According to this study, knowledge of English has increased significantly in Belgium. Last year, the country ranked thirteenth with a score of 58.74 points. It has now moved into ninth place with a score of 61.21 points. However, the report reveals a significant gender gap in knowledge. In almost all countries, women speak better English than men. That difference is actually clearer in Belgium than in any other European country, as women reach an average score of 63.03 vs. 57.68 for men.
Dutch-speakers score higher (62.36) than French-speakers (58.83). The best results were recorded in Ghent (64.40) and Antwerp (64.18).
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)