Leading the way in English language skills

For the second year in a row, the Netherlands has taken first place in the EF English Proficiency Index. Described as “the world's largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills,” the index is based on the test results of 2.2 million adults in 100 regions and countries. In 2019 and 2017, the Netherlands also topped the index. It came in second in 2018.

This year, neighbouring countries Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway filled the other top five places in the index. Singapore was the highest performing country outside of Europe, coming in tenth place.

The tests used to compile the index required participants to complete various tests, including reading advanced texts, negotiating a contract with a native-English speaker and using “nuanced and appropriate” language in social settings.

Amsterdam’s skilled, English-speaking workforce

A high level of English proficiency allows established businesses and growing startups in Amsterdam to succeed on the international stage. The city has a highly educated and skilled workforce and its excellent quality of life also helps companies recruit talent from abroad.

English has also made the city a centre of higher learning. Many undergraduate, masters and PhD programmes are available in English, and the capital has a diverse student body pursuing degrees in fields like data science, artificial intelligence and econometrics.

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.