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Swahili

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Swahili (Kiswahili) is spoken over a wide area of eastern Africa that stretches over much of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Somalia, and northern Mozambique.

The number of speakers is hard to assess, as it is spoken by so many bilingual people, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our data source here, The Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, by Colin Baker and Sylvia Prys Jones, puts the number of first-language speakers of Swahili at nearly 18 million, and the world total at around 20-22 million, but other sources claim there are as few as 5 million first-language speakers in total.

Territory size shows the proportion of all people who speak Swahili as a first language that live in that territory.


population map Open Population Map for comparison

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