Map of the percentage of population able to speak Russian in the EU by country

by Jakub Marian

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Russian used to be the first foreign language most inhabitants of the former Eastern Bloc learned. Understandably, the number of Russian speakers has been declining since the fall of the iron curtain, as Russian ceased to be an obligatory subject in most of those countries. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most popular foreign languages spoken in the region.

In fact, there are still more speakers of Russian than English in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and even in the rest of the former Eastern Bloc, Russian is not lagging much behind English.

The map is based on the “Special Eurobarometer 386” and on the number of native Russian speakers in the respective countries (the data is from 2012, so Croatia is not included).


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