A 2004 study published in Science said that 9 percent of the world spoke English as a first language by the middle of the 19th century. The same study found that only 5 percent of the world would speak English as a first language by 2050.
According to Ethnologue, there are 335 million people who speak English as a first language and an additional 505 million people worldwide who speak it as a second language, as of 2014. The British Council claims that 25 percent of the world's population has some understanding of English. However, this statistic does not differentiate between fluent or native speakers and those who only understand a few simple phrases.