English is the preeminent language of business, diplomacy, and international communication around the world. It is one of six official languages used by the United Nations and is used by organizations including the International Olympic Committee, the European Free Trade Association, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. It is the most widely taught foreign language around the world and the most-used language in scientific studies, with roughly 50% of English-language science writing created by researchers whose native language is something other than English.
In light of this worldwide acceptance, many countries have English designated as the de jure official language, meaning it is legally recognized as the official language. In some cases, particularly in Africa, where countries may have dozens of regional languages, English is frequently the official language but not be the primary language. This means that English can be used in business, education, and official documents but is not the language most widely spoken by its residents. This is the case for nations such as India and Pakistan.
There are also nations in which English is a de facto national language, meaning that it exists in reality and is practiced, even though it is not officially recognized by law. This is especially true in countries that have no official language. For example, even though English is the most commonly spoken language in the United States, the country actually has no legally declared official language at the federal level. As such, English is the de facto national language. Of the nations where English is a de facto national language, the United States is the most populous with an estimated 332 million people.