World’s number one for English proficiency

The Netherlands has held its number one position in a world ranking of non-native speaking nations for English language skills.

The 2021 Education First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) tests millions of adults on their language skills. The Netherlands ranked as the best performing country, and Amsterdam scored first among global cities. 

The Dutch have placed consistently in the top three since the index was initiated in 2011 and have held the top spot since 2015.

The EF EPI’s research finds a correlation between English proficiency and economic productivity, talent competitiveness and global innovation. “English has become a fundamental skill in forming a modern workforce. It enables service exports, improves competitiveness, facilitates international trade, and broadens individual horizons,” the report said.

The Netherlands’ top position was followed by Austria, Denmark, Singapore and Norway.

Removing barriers to business

As the EF EPI finds, English is by far the most common language of information exchange across borders, making it key to sharing knowledge and expertise, attracting international talent and maintaining frictionless communication to support productivity.

It’s one of the top reasons international companies choose to set up in Amsterdam, ensuring employees can contribute to a diverse workplace, share ideas across networks and borders, and easily settle into life in Amsterdam.

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.