EF Education recently released its 2023 English Proficiency Index rankings for countries and territories where English is not spoken as a first language. The survey covered 113 countries and regions, with most of the top 10 being European countries. Japan ranked 15th out of 23 countries and regions in Asia, with mainland China ranking slightly higher than Japan.
EF Education First (Switzerland), one of the world’s leading language school operators, recently released its 2023 English Proficiency Index rankings for countries and regions where English is not the native language. Japan ranked 87th, a record low. The English proficiency of young people has declined significantly.
The survey was conducted among 113 countries and regions, with the Netherlands, Singapore and Austria ranking in the top three. Most of the top ten are European countries. Japan’s English proficiency is lower than that of Korea (49), Vietnam (58) and mainland China (82), etc. Looking at the 23 countries and regions in Asia, Japan also ranked very low, only 15th.
Mainland China ranked 82nd, 14th out of 23 Asian countries and regions, while Hong Kong, China was 29th, and India was ranked 60th.
The average English proficiency index for 2023, based on data from about 2.2 million people around the world who took the company’s exams, is 493, compared with 457 (up to 800) for Japan. That’s an 18-point drop from the previous year and a seven-place slide in the world rankings. Japan has slipped in the rankings almost every year since the survey results began to be published in 2011.
In terms of age groups, English proficiency among 18- to 25-year-olds fell sharply compared with middle-aged and older adults. It attributed the decline in English proficiency to the outbreak of the Shinkansen epidemic, which has hampered study abroad and international exchanges, among other things.
The index for each region in Japan was highest in Kanto at 483. Followed by Kansai, Tohoku and Hokkaido. The Chinese region with the lowest index was 428.