Tamil is spoken by most of the population of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is spoken in total by roughly 68 million people, in around 16 territories. There are roughly 4.7 million speakers in Sri Lanka, and over a million in Singapore. Other speakers are spread far and wide, in Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States.
Tamil is an ancient language; cave inscriptions in Tamil are dated to somewhere between third and first centuries BC.