French studied by over half of pupils at primary & lower secondary level in Luxembourg and Romania
In 2011, at primary & lower secondary level, English was the most commonly studied foreign language, with shares above 90% of pupils in Malta and Austria (both 100%), Spain and Italy (both 99%), Greece (97%), Croatia (95%), France (93%) and Poland (91%). Among the Member States for which this data is available, French was studied by more than half of pupils at this level in Luxembourg (90%) and Romania (51%), while German was studied by more than a quarter in Luxembourg (100%), Croatia (32%), Denmark (28%), Hungary and Slovakia (both 27%).
German is the second most studied language at upper secondary level in ten Member States
In upper secondary education, English remained the most commonly studied language, at over 90% of pupils in all Member States, except Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta and Portugal. The second most commonly studied language in upper secondary education was German in ten Member States, French in nine, Spanish in four, Russian in three and Swedish and Italian in one each.
In half of the Member States three quarters of the working age population state they know a foreign language
Among adults aged 25 to 64, the proportions of those stating that they knew at least one foreign language differed greatly among the Member States, with the highest shares recorded in Luxembourg (99%), Lithuania (97%), Latvia (95%), Denmark (94%), Slovenia and Sweden (both 92%), and the lowest in Hungary (37%), Bulgaria (39%) and Spain (51%).
Lowest share of adults stating they have a proficient level of English in Italy, France and Germany
Among working age adults, the perceived level of language knowledge varied significantly between Member States. In Member States where English is considered to be the best-known foreign language, the highest shares of adults aged 25 to 64 perceiving themselves as being proficient in English were observed in Malta (53%), Sweden (43%), Cyprus (41%), Denmark and the Netherlands (both 36%), and the lowest in Italy (10%), France (13%) and Germany (16%).