The Netherlands ranked first for having the best English-language skills in a country where English is not the native language. The Netherlands has been in the top three of the EF English Proficiency Index since its first edition in 2011 and has held 1st place every year since 2019.
This year EF ranked 111 countries on their English proficiency based on 2.1 million people completing its online standardized tests.
The Netherlands got an EPI score of 661, compared to a global average of 502. All of the Netherlands’ provinces scored above the global average, with Zeeland getting the highest score at 678 and Drenthe the lowest at 629 – still well in the “very high proficiency” range.
In its report, EF noted that capital cities almost always have higher average levels of English proficiency than their country or region but are rarely the top-performing city. That is also the case in the Netherlands. Amsterdam scored 673, above the Netherlands’ 661 and Noord-Holland’s 671, but is only the fourth-best-performing city in the country. The Hague has the highest level of English proficiency (697), followed by Utrecht (683), and Breda (675).
Men scored slightly better than women. Young professionals aged 26 to 30 are most proficient in the English language, though all age groups achieved “very high proficiency.”
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