Ranked: The 100 Most Spoken Languages Worldwide
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Ranked: The 100 Most Spoken Languages Around the World

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100 Most Spoken Languages

Ranked: The 100 Most Spoken Languages Worldwide

Even though you’re reading this article in English, there’s a good chance it might not be your mother tongue. Of the billion-strong English speakers in the world, only 33% consider it their native language.

The popularity of a language depends greatly on utility and geographic location. Additionally, how we measure the spread of world languages can vary greatly depending on whether you look at total speakers or native speakers.

Today’s detailed visualization from WordTips illustrates the 100 most spoken languages in the world, the number of native speakers for each language, and the origin tree that each language has branched out from.

How Do You Define A Language?

The data comes from the 22nd edition of Ethnologue, a database covering a majority of the world’s population, detailing approximately 7,111 living languages in existence today.

The definitions of languages are often dynamic, blurring the lines around a singular understanding of what makes a language:

  • Linguistic: focused on lexical and grammatical differences, or on variations within speech communities
  • Social: focused on cultural or political factors, as well as heritage and identity

For the purposes of measurement, the researchers use the ISO 693-3 set of criteria, which accounts for related varieties and dialects—ensuring that linguistics are not the only factor considered in this count of languages.

Here are the language origins of the 100 most spoken languages:

The-100-Most-Spoken-Languages-in-the-World_Supplemental

Indo-European languages have the widest spread worldwide. According to Ethnologue, the language family contains over 3 billion speakers in total. Interestingly, there are actually 1,526 Niger-Congo languages altogether, though only 12 are represented here.

Let’s now dive into the top 10 most spoken languages overall.

Which Languages Have the Most Speakers?

It comes as no surprise that English reigns supreme, with over 1.1 billion total speakers—or roughly 15% of the global population. Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and French round out the top five.

RankLanguageTotal SpeakersLanguage Origin
1English1,132 millionIndo-European
2Mandarin Chinese1,117 millionSino-Tibetan
3Hindi615 millionIndo-European
4Spanish534 millionIndo-European
5French280 millionIndo-European
6Standard Arabic274 millionAfro-Asiatic
7Bengali265 millionIndo-European
8Russian258 millionIndo-European
9Portuguese234 millionIndo-European
10Indonesian199 millionAustronesian

However, this is only one piece in the full fabric of languages.

The metrics for native speakers tell a slightly different tale, as Mandarin Chinese shoots up to 918 million—almost 2.5x that of English native speakers.

RankLanguageNative SpeakersLanguage Origin
1Mandarin Chinese918 millionSino-Tibetan
2Spanish460 millionIndo-European
3English379 millionIndo-European
4Hindi341 millionIndo-European
5Bengali228 millionIndo-European
6Portuguese221 millionIndo-European
7Russian154 millionIndo-European
8Japanese128 millionJapanic
9Western Punjabi93 millionIndo-European
10Marathi83 millionIndo-European

Note: No native speaker data was available for Filipino, Standard Arabic, Nigerian Pidgin, or Cameroonian Pidgin.

Here, Spanish comes in strong second for native speakers with 460 million, considering it’s well-used across Latin America. The Indian languages of Hindi and Bengali cap off the top five by native speakers as well.

These are the biggest languages people learn growing up, but what about the ones they pick up later in life?

What About Second (L2) Languages?

Nearly 43% of the world’s population is bilingual, with the ability to switch between two languages with ease.

From the data, second language (L2) speakers can be calculated by looking at the difference between native and total speakers, as a proportion of the total. For example, 66% of English speakers learned it as a second language.

Swahili surprisingly has the highest ratio of L2 speakers to total speakers—although it only has 16 million native speakers, this shoots up to 98 million total speakers. Overall, 82% of Swahili speakers know it as a second language.

Swahili is listed as a national or official language in several African countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s likely that the movement of people from rural areas into big cities in search of better economic opportunities, is what’s boosting the adoption of Swahili as a second language.

Indonesian is another similar example. With a 78% proportion of L2 speakers compared to total speakers, this variation on the Malay language has been used as the lingua franca across the islands for a long time. In contrast, only 17% of Mandarin speakers know it as a second language, perhaps because it is one of the most challenging languages to learn.

Keeping Language Traditions Alive

Languages are fluid, and constantly evolving—altogether, the 100 most spoken languages paint a unique picture across centuries of a changing world. Here’s the full list of these languages, by types of speakers and language origin.

RankLanguageTotal SpeakersNative SpeakersOrigin
1English1,132M379MIndo-European
2Mandarin Chinese1,117M918MSino-Tibetan
3Hindi615M341MIndo-European
4Spanish534M460MIndo-European
5French280M77MIndo-European
6Standard Arabic274MNAAfro-Asiatic
7Bengali265M228MIndo-European
8Russian258M154MIndo-European
9Portuguese234M221MIndo-European
10Indonesian199M43MAustronesian
11Urdu170M69MIndo-European
12Standard German132M76MIndo-European
13Japanese128M128MJapanic
14Swahili98M16MNiger-Congo
15Marathi95M83MIndo-European
16Telugu93M82MDravidian
17Western Punjabi93M93MIndo-European
18Wu Chinese82M81MSino-Tibetan
19Tamil81M75MDravidian
20Turkish80M69MTurkic
21Korean77M77MKoreanic
22Vietnamese77M76MAustronesian
23Yue Chinese74M73MSino-Tibetan
24Javanese68M68MAustronesian
25Italian68M65MIndo-European
26Egyptian Spoken Arabic65M65MAfro-Asiatic
27Hausa63M44MAfro-Asiatic
28Thai61M21MKra-Dai
29Gujarati61M56MIndo-European
30Kannada56M44MDravidian
31Iranian Persian53M53MIndo-European
32Bhojpuri52M52MIndo-European
33Southern Min Chinese50M50MSino-Tibetan
34Hakka Chinese48M48MSino-Tibetan
35Jinyu Chinese47M47MSino-Tibetan
36Filipino45MNAAustronesian
37Burmese43M33MSino-Tibetan
38Polish40M40MIndo-European
39Yoruba40M38MNiger-Congo
40Odia38M34MIndo-European
41Malayalam38M37MDravidian
42Xiang Chinese37M37MSino-Tibetan
43Maithili34M34MIndo-European
44Ukrainian33M27MIndo-European
45Moroccan Spoken Arabic33M27MAfro-Asiatic
46Eastern Punjabi33M33MIndo-European
47Sunda32M32MAustronesian
48Algerian Spoken Arabic32M29MAfro-Asiatic
49Sudanese Spoken Arabic32M32MAfro-Asiatic
50Nigerian Pidgin30MNAIndo-European
51Zulu28M12MNiger-Congo
52Igbo27M27MNiger-Congo
53Amharic26M22MAfro-Asiatic
54Northern Uzbek25M25MTurkic
55Sindhi25M25MIndo-European
56North Levantine Spoken Arabic25M25MAfro-Asiatic
57Nepali25M16MIndo-European
58Romanian24M24MIndo-European
59Tagalog24M24MAustronesian
60Dutch23M23MIndo-European
61Sa'idi Spoken Arabic22M22MAfro-Asiatic
62Gan Chinese22M22MSino-Tibetan
63Northern Pashto21M21MIndo-European
64Magahi21M21MIndo-European
65Saraiki20M20MIndo-European
66Xhosa19M8MNiger-Congo
67Malay19M16MAustronesian
68Khmer18M17MAustronesian
69Afrikaans18M7MIndo-European
70Sinhala17M15MIndo-European
71Somali16M16MAfro-Asiatic
72Chhattisgarhi16M16MIndo-European
73Cebuano16M16MAustronesian
74Mesopotamian Spoken Arabic16M16MAfro-Asiatic
75Assamese15M15MIndo-European
76Northeastern Thai15M15MKra-Dai
77Northern Kurdish15M15MIndo-European
78Hijazi Spoken Arabic15M15MAfro-Asiatic
79Nigerian Fulfulde14M14MNiger-Congo
80Bavarian14M14MIndo-European
81Bamanankan14M4MNiger-Congo
82South Azerbaijani14M14MTurkic
83Northern Sotho14M5MNiger-Congo
84Setswana14M6MNiger-Congo
85Souther Sotho14M6MNiger-Congo
86Czech13M11MIndo-European
87Greek13M13MIndo-European
88Chittagonian13M13MIndo-European
89Kazakh13M13MTurkic
90Swedish13M10MIndo-European
91Deccan13M13MIndo-European
92Hungarian13M13MUralic
93Jula12M2MNiger-Congo
94Sadri12M5MIndo-European
95Kinyarwanda12M12MNiger-Congo
96Cameroonian Pidgin12MNAIndo-European
97Sylheti12M10MIndo-European
98South Levantine Spoken Arabic12M12MAfro-Asiatic
99Tunisian Spoken Arabic12M12MAfro-Asiatic
100Sanaani Spoken Arabic11M11MAfro-Asiatic

One reason these languages are popular is that they are actively and consistently used. Unfortunately, nearly 3,000 (about 40%) of all languages are at risk of being lost, or are already in the process of dying out today.

Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives. … [Their] losses have huge negative impacts indigenous peoples’ most basic human rights.

—UN, IYoIL statement

As a result, the United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYoIL), with a resolution to continue fostering these languages and pass on their knowledge for future generations.

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Misc

Every Song With Over 1 Billion Spotify Streams

Spotify’s ‘Billions Club’ playlist tracks every song with over 1 billion streams. We took the data and broke it down by decade and artist.

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Every Song With Over 1 Billion Spotify Streams

View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

Spotify has a relatively short history, launching in Europe in 2008, and eventually moving into the U.S. market in 2011. Since then, the Stockholm-based company has become the world’s most popular audio streaming service with 456 million users across 183 markets.

With such a large userbase, major artists on Spotify have seen their biggest hits accumulate millions, if not billions of streams. So, in July 2021, Spotify created the Billions Club, a playlist comprising every song to reach the 1 billion milestone.

We at Visual Capitalist saw this as an opportunity to create a unique data visualization, so we compiled the entire playlist and arranged it by decade and artist.

The Top 10 Artists

Below are the top 10 artists, ranked by their number of songs with over 1 billion streams. The list actually includes 11 artists because Shawn Mendes, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay are tied with 5 songs in the Billions Club.

RankArtistArtist's Monthly ListensSongs With 1 Billion+ Streams
1Ed Sheeran76M11
2Post Malone51M9
2The Weeknd79M9
4XXXTENTACION34M8
5Ariana Grande56M7
5Maroon 550M7
7Drake68M6
7Eminem59M6
9Shawn Mendes43M5
9Bruno Mars51M5
9Coldplay59M5

Sorting this list in different ways can reveal some interesting takeaways.

By Gender

For starters, Ariana Grande is the only female artist present in the top 10. Her best performing song on Spotify is 7 rings, which was included in her fifth studio album thank u, next. The track has accumulated 1.8 billion streams since February 8, 2019.

Female superstars who narrowly missed the top 10 list include Adele, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, and Olivia Rodrigo, who all have four songs in the Billions Club.

Most of these artists are relatively new, so it’s reasonable to assume that they’ll be breaking into the top 10 soon. Olivia Rodrigo, for example, just released her debut album SOUR in 2021.

By Artist Tenure

Which top 10 artist has been around the longest?

We measure tenure in this context as the time that has elapsed since the artist’s debut album. In this case, the crown goes to Eminem, who released Infinite in November 1996.

The 11-track album was released on cassette and vinyl, and according to the Eminem Fandom wiki, only sold around 1,000 copies. The title track, Infinite, is the only song from the album that is available on Spotify, and it currently has 33 million plays.

The Full List

The Billions Club contains over 300 songs, with the majority being released in the 2010s. This is largely due to the fact that Spotify launched at the start of that decade.

Below is the data we used to create this infographic, which can be sorted by track name, artist, play count, track length, or release date.

Track NameArtistPlay count (billions)Track length (secs)Release date
Mood24kGoldn1.61402021
Youngblood5 Seconds of Summer1.52032018
Take on Mea-ha1.22251985
Highway to HellAC/DC1.12081979
Back In BlackAC/DC1.12551980
ThunderstruckAC/DC12921990
Someone Like YouAdele1.42852011
HelloAdele1.32952015
Rolling in the DeepAdele1.22282011
Easy On MeAdele1.12242021
FadedAlan Walker1.62122015
Let Me Down SlowlyAlec Benjamin1.11692018
Scars To Your BeautifulAlessia Cara1.12302015
2002Anne-Marie1.21862018
ChinaAnuel AA13012019
Do I Wanna Know?Arctic Monkeys1.52722013
7 ringsAriana Grande1.81782019
thank u, nextAriana Grande1.62072019
Side To SideAriana Grande1.22262016
no tears left to cryAriana Grande1.22062018
Into YouAriana Grande1.12442016
positionsAriana Grande1.11722020
One Last TimeAriana Grande11972014
ROXANNEArizona Zervas1.31632019
Sweet but PsychoAva Max1.41872020
Wake Me UpAvicii1.72472013
The NightsAvicii1.21762014
Waiting For LoveAvicii12302015
More Than You KnowAxwell /\ Ingrosso1.12032017
I Want It That WayBackstreet Boys12131999
DÁKITIBad Bunny1.52052020
CallaitaBad Bunny1.22502019
MIABad Bunny1.12102018
YonaguniBad Bunny12062021
PompeiiBastille1.22142013
Meant to BeBebe Rexha1.21632017
Eastsidebenny blanco1.41732018
HaloBeyoncé1.22612008
bad guyBillie Eilish2.21942019
lovelyBillie Eilish22002018
when the party's overBillie Eilish1.41962019
everything i wantedBillie Eilish1.22452019
hot girl bummerblackbear1.11882020
Livin' On A PrayerBon Jonvi1.12491986
That's What I LikeBruno Mars1.52062016
Just the Way You AreBruno Mars1.42202010
When I Was Your ManBruno Mars1.32142012
Locked out of HeavenBruno Mars1.22332012
24K MagicBruno Mars1.22252016
DynamiteBTS1.51992020
ButterBTS11642021
One KissCalvin Harris1.62142018
This Is What You Came ForCalvin Harris1.42222016
SummerCalvin Harris1.12222014
HavanaCamila Cabello1.82172018
I Like ItCardi B1.42532018
WAPCardi B1.11872020
We Don't Talk AnymoreCharlie Puth1.42172016
AttentionCharlie Puth1.42092018
RedboneChildish Gambino1.23262016
A Thousand YearsChristina Perri1.22852011
RockabyeClean Bandit1.32512016
SymphonyClean Bandit1.22122017
Rather BeClean Bandit1.12272014
YellowColdplay1.42662000
The ScientistColdplay1.43092002
Viva La VidaColdplay1.22422008
Fix YouColdplay1.12952005
Hymn for the WeekendColdplay12582015
HeatherConan Gray11982020
Gangsta's ParadiseCoolio1.12401995
ROCKSTARDaBaby1.51812020
Con CalmaDaddy Yankee1.11932019
Me RehúsoDanny Ocean1.32052016
TitaniumDavid Guetta1.22452011
Be AlrightDean Lewis1.41962018
Sorry Not SorryDemi Lovato12032017
PandaDesiigner1.12462016
I'm the OneDJ Khaled1.12882017
Let Me Love YouDJ Snake1.72052016
Taki TakiDJ Snake1.32132018
Cake By The OceanDNCE1.32192016
Kiss Me MoreDoja Cat1.42082021
WomanDoja Cat1.11722021
Say SoDoja Cat12372019
Danza KuduroDon Omar11982010
Still D.R.E.Dr Dre12701999
One DanceDrake2.51742016
God's PlanDrake2.11982018
In My FeelingsDrake1.32172018
Hotline BlingDrake1.12672016
PassionfruitDrake1.12982017
Nice For WhatDrake1.12102018
Don't Start NowDua Lipa2.11832020
New RulesDua Lipa1.82092017
LevitatingDua Lipa1.62032020
IDGAFDua Lipa1.32172017
In My MindDynoro1.21842018
Hotel California (2013 Remaster)Eagles1.23911976
SeptemberEarth, Wind & Fire1.12151978
Shape of YouEd Sheeran3.32332017
PerfectEd Sheeran2.22632017
Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran2.12812014
PhotographEd Sheeran22592014
I Don't CareEd Sheeran1.62192019
Bad HabitsEd Sheeran1.32302021
Beautiful PeopleEd Sheeran1.21972019
Galway GirlEd Sheeran1.11702017
HappierEd Sheeran1.12072017
Castle on the HillEd Sheeran1.12612017
ShiversEd Sheeran12072021
Love Me Like You DoEllie Goulding1.32522015
Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)Elton John1.22022021
Lose YourselfEminem1.63262005
Till I CollapseEminem1.52972002
Without MeEminem1.32902002
The Real Slim ShadyEminem1.12842000
Love The Way You LieEminem1.12632010
GodzillaEminem12102020
PepasFarruko1.12872021
Work from HomeFifth Harmony1.32142016
DreamsFleetwood Mac1.12571977
Pumped Up KicksFoster The People1.32402011
UnforgettableFrench Montana1.62332017
Mask OffFuture1.32042017
Life Is GoodFuture12372020
Me, Myself & IG-Eazy1.12512015
Heat WavesGlass Animals2.12382020
i hate u, i love ugnash1.22512016
Somebody That I Used To KnowGotye1.32442011
StarvingHailee Steinfeld1.11812016
Without MeHalsey1.62022018
Watermelon SugarHarry Styles21742019
As It WasHarry Styles1.51672022
Adore YouHarry Styles1.22072019
Sign of the TimesHarry Styles1.13402017
Take Me to ChurchHozier1.92412014
BelieverImagine Dragons2.32042017
ThunderImagine Dragons1.81872017
DemonsImagine Dragons1.61752012
RadioactiveImagine Dragons1.41862012
LemonadeInternet Money1.11952020
Mi GenteJ Balvin1.31892017
LA CANCIÓNJ Balvin1.22422019
No Role ModelzJ. Cole1.42922014
Say You Won't Let GoJames Arthur2.22112016
Let It GoJames Bay12602014
I'm YoursJason Mraz1.52432008
Ni**as in ParisJAY-Z12192011
Bang BangJessie J1.11992014
All of MeJohn Legend1.92692013
SuckerJonas Brothers1.21812019
Don't Stop Believin'Journey1.42501981
Lucid DreamsJuice WRLD2.12392018
All Girls Are The SameJuice WRLD1.11652018
RobberyJuice WRLD1.12402019
IssuesJulia Michaels1.11762017
Love YourselfJustin Bieber1.92332015
SorryJustin Bieber1.72002015
What Do You Mean?Justin Bieber1.42052015
PeachesJustin Bieber1.31982021
CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!Justin Timberlake1.42372016
StrongerKanye West1.13122007
TusaKAROL G1.32002019
Dark HorseKaty Perry12152013
HUMBLE.Kendrick Lamar1.71772017
All The StarsKendrick Lamar1.12322018
Young Dumb & BrokeKhalid1.22022017
LocationKhalid1.22172017
BetterKhalid1.12292018
Sex on FireKings of Leon12032008
It Ain't MeKygo1.22202017
ShallowLady Gaga1.92152018
I Like Me BetterLauv1.51972018
Someone You LovedLewis Capaldi2.51822019
Before You GoLewis Capaldi1.42152019
Drip Too HardLil Baby1.11452018
Blueberry FaygoLil Mosey1.11622020
MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)Lil Nas X1.61372021
INDUSTRY BABYLil Nas X1.62122021
Old Town Road - RemixLil Nas X1.41572019
RansomLil Tecca1.11312019
XO Tour Llif3Lil Uzi Vert1.81822017
In the EndLinkin Park1.42162000
NumbLinkin Park1.11852003
1-800-273-8255Logic1.22502017
The Night We MetLord Huron1.12082015
Despacito - RemixLuis Fonsi1.62282017
DespacitoLuis Fonsi1.52292019
7 YearsLukas Graham1.52372016
Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd12831974
Can't Hold UsMacklemore & Ryan Lewis1.72582012
RudeMAGIC!1.12242014
Lean OnMajor Lazer1.71762015
Cold WaterMajor Lazer1.31852016
Light It UpMajor Lazer1.12862015
HawáiMaluma12002020
Beggin'Maneskin1.22112017
All I Want for Christmas Is YouMariah Carey1.22411994
Uptown FunkMark Ronson1.62692015
MemoriesMaroon 51.61892021
SugarMaroon 51.52352014
Girls Like YouMaroon 51.52352018
PayphoneMaroon 51.22312021
She Will Be LovedMaroon 51.12572002
MapsMaroon 51.11892014
What Lovers DoMaroon 51.11992018
HappierMarshmello1.82142018
SilenceMarshmello1.31802017
FRIENDSMarshmello1.32022018
In the Name of LoveMartin Garrix1.21952016
Scared to Be LonelyMartin Garrix1.12202017
Astronaut In The OceanMasked Wolf11322021
Billie JeanMichael Jackson1.22941982
I Took A Pill in Ibiza - Seeb RemixMike Posner1.61972016
Party in the U.S.A.Miley Cyrus12022009
Stolen DanceMilky Chance1.13132014
ClassicMKTO11752012
Let You DownNF1.22122017
Te BotéNio Garcia14172018
Smells Like Teen SpiritNirvana1.53011991
WonderwallOasis1.52591995
Ric Flair DripOffset1.11722017
good 4 uOlivia Rodrigo1.71782021
drivers licenseOlivia Rodrigo1.62422021
traitorOlivia Rodrigo12292021
deja vuOlivia Rodrigo12152021
Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)OMI1.41802015
Counting StarsOneRepublic1.72572014
High HopesPanic! At The Disco1.31902018
Let Her GoPassenger1.72522012
Calma - RemixPedro Capó12382018
HappyPharell Williams1.12322014
TimberPitbull1.12042012
Feel It StillPortugal1.11632017
SunflowerPost Malone2.51582018
rockstarPost Malone2.52182018
CirclesPost Malone1.92152019
CongratulationsPost Malone1.62202016
Better NowPost Malone1.62312018
I Fall ApartPost Malone1.42232016
PsychoPost Malone1.42212018
WowPost Malone1.41492019
GoodbyesPost Malone11742019
death bed (coffee for your head)Powfu1.31732020
Bohemian RhapsodyQueen23542018
Don't Stop Me NowQueen1.42091978
Another One Bites The DustQueen1.42141980
Under PressureQueen1.22451982
CreepRadiohead12381993
Todo De TiRauw Alejandro11992021
Under the BridgeRed Hot Chili Peppers12641991
CalifornicationRed Hot Chili Peppers13291999
Ride ItRegard1.11572019
Work from HomeRihanna1.22192016
Needed MeRihanna1.11912016
SugarRobin Schulz12192015
The BoxRoddy Ricch1.51962019
Roses (Imanbek Remix)SAINt JHN1.71762019
Stay With MeSam Smith1.61722014
Too Good At GoodbyesSam Smith1.62012017
I'm Not The Only OneSam Smith1.42392014
Dancing With A StrangerSam Smith1.11712019
WolvesSelena Gomez1.21972017
Hips Don't LieShakira1.12182005
SeñoritaShawn Mendes2.31902019
Treat You BetterShawn Mendes1.61872017
StitchesShawn Mendes1.52062015
There's Nothing Holdin' Me BackShawn Mendes1.51992017
MercyShawn Mendes1.12082017
Cheap ThrillsSia1.52112016
ChandelierSia1.42162015
Young, Wild & FreeSnoop Dogg1.12072011
Chasing CarsSnow Patrol12672006
The Less I Know The BetterTame Impala1.12162015
you broke me firstTate McRae11692020
CloserThe Chainsmokers2.42442016
Something Just Like ThisThe Chainsmokers22472017
Don't Let Me DownThe Chainsmokers1.62082016
ParisThe Chainsmokers12212017
IrisThe Goo Goo Dolls1.12891998
STAYThe Kid LAROI2.21412021
Mr. BrightsideThe Killers1.62222004
Sweater WeatherThe Neighbourhood1.82402013
Every Breath You TakeThe Police1.32531983
Hall of FameThe Script1.12022012
Blinding LightsThe Weeknd3.22002020
StarboyThe Weeknd22302016
The HillsThe Weeknd1.72422015
Can't Feel My FaceThe Weeknd1.42132015
I Feel It ComingThe Weeknd1.42692016
Earned ItThe Weeknd1.32772015
Save Your TearsThe Weeknd1.22152020
Call Out My NameThe Weeknd1.12282018
Die For YouThe Weeknd12602016
Seven Nation ArmyThe White Stripes1.22322003
Another LoveTom Odell1.22442013
Dance MonkeyTones And I2.72092019
AfricaTOTO1.32941982
Hey, Soul SisterTrain1.12162010
goosebumpsTravis Scott1.82432016
SICKO MODETravis Scott1.73122018
HIGHEST IN THE ROOMTravis Scott1.21752019
BUTTERFLY EFFECTTravis Scott11902018
FallingTrevor Daniel1.41592020
Stressed OutTwenty One Pilots1.82022015
RideTwenty One Pilots1.42142015
HeathensTwenty One Pilots1.41952016
TasteTyga1.22292019
RiptideVance Joy1.72042014
Shut Up and DanceWALK THE MOON1.21992014
See You AgainWiz Khalifa1.52292015
SAD!XXXTENTACION1.91662018
Everybody Dies In Their NightmaresXXXTENTACION1.81192017
Jocelyn FloresXXXTENTACION1.81192017
MoonlightXXXTENTACION1.51352018
Fuck LoveXXXTENTACION1.21462017
changesXXXTENTACION1.21212018
Look At Me!XXXTENTACION1.11262017
HopeXXXTENTACION11102018
Lush LifeZara Larsson1.12012017
I Don't Wanna Live ForeverZAYN1.32452017
Dusk Till DawnZAYN1.32392018
PILLOWTALKZAYN1.12022016
The MiddleZedd1.31842018
StayZedd1.12102017

Note: Our list includes two songs that have crossed one billion streams, but have not yet been added to the official playlist.

Please note that new songs are constantly being added to the Billions Club, so our list may not be up to date for very long. Both Rihanna and Taylor Swift will be joining the club any day now as Umbrella (feat. Jay-Z) and Blank Space tick up towards the one billion mark.

With songs on this playlist receiving over 446 billion streams so far, at least some of them are likely to be familiar to you. Some may even find their way into your annual feature called Spotify Wrapped, a personalized roundup sent to Spotify users covering your most listened to songs of the year.

One Final Note

With the holidays upon us, you’re going to be hearing a lot of Christmas music in the coming weeks, whether it’s at home, at the mall, or in a cafe.

Chances are, one of those songs will be Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You. Not only is this song a holiday staple, it’s also the only Christmas song with over 1 billion streams on Spotify.

Released in October 1994 with Carey’s first holiday album, Merry Christmas, the track continues to be a massive success. In 2021, it became the first and only Christmas song to receive Diamond certification by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

The design of this graphic is partially inspired by The Pudding’s fantastic piece, The Largest Vocabulary In Hip Hop.

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Demographics

3D Map: The World’s Largest Population Density Centers

What does population density look like on a global scale? These detailed 3D renders illustrate our biggest urban areas and highlight population trends.

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global population density map

A 3D Look at the Largest Population Density Centers

It can be difficult to comprehend the true sizes of megacities, or the global spread of 8 billion people, but this series of population density maps makes the picture abundantly clear.

Created using the EU’s population density data and mapping tool Aerialod by Alasdair Rae, the 3D-rendered maps highlight demographic trends and geographic constraints.

Though they appear topographical and even resemble urban areas, the maps visualize population density in squares. The height of each bar represents the number of people living in that specific square, with the global map displaying 2km x 2km squares and subsequent maps displaying 1km x 1km squares.

Each region and country tells its own demographic story, but the largest population clusters are especially illuminating.

China vs U.S. — Clusters vs Sprawl

population density spikes around China

Click here to view the high resolution version.

Zooming into the most populated country in the world, China and its surrounding neighbors demonstrate massive clusters of urbanization.

Most people are familiar with the large density centers around Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, but the concentration in central China is surprising. The cities of Chengdu and Chonqing, in the Sichuan Basin, are part of a massive population center.

Interestingly, more than 93% of China’s population lives in the Eastern half of the country. It’s a similar story in neighboring South Korea and Taiwan, where the population is clustered along the west coasts.

population density spikes in the united states

Click here to view the high resolution version.

The U.S. also has large population clusters along the coasts, but far more sprawl compared to its Asian counterparts. Though the Boston-Washington corridor is home to over 50 million residents, major centers spread out the population across the South and the Midwest.

Clearly visible are clusters in Florida (and not exclusively focused around Miami like some might believe), Illinois, Georgia, and Texas. The population is sparse in the West as expected, but California’s Los Angeles and Bay Area metros make up for the discrepancy and are just behind New York City’s density spikes in height.

India & Southeast Asia — Massive Density in Tight Areas

population density spikes around India

Click here to view the high resolution version.

At 1.38 billion people, India’s population is just behind China’s in terms of size. However, this sizable population fits into an area just one-third of China’s total land area, with the above map demonstrating what the same amount of people looks like in a smaller region.

On one hand, you still have clear clusters, such as in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangladesh’s Dhaka. On the other, there is a finite amount of room for a massive amount of people, so those density “spikes” are more like density “peaks” with the entire country covered in high density bars.

However, we can still see geographic trends. India’s population is more densely focused in the North before fading into the Himalayas. Bangladesh is equally if not more densely populated, with the exception of the protected Sundarbans mangrove forest along the coast. And Pakistan’s population seen in the distance is clustered along the Indus River.

population density spikes in Southeast Asia

Click here to view the high resolution version.

Geographic constraints have always been the biggest deciding factor when it comes to population density, and nowhere is this more apparent than Southeast Asia.

Take Indonesia, the fourth largest country by population. Despite spanning across many islands, more than half of the country’s 269 million inhabitants are clustered on the single island of Java. The metros of Jakarta and Surabaya have experienced massive growth, but spreading that growth across oceans to entirely new islands (covered by rainforests) is a tall order.

When the distance is smaller, that cross-water growth is more likely to occur. Nearby in the Philippines, more than 100 million people have densely populated a series of islands no bigger than the state of Arizona.

Indeed, despite being one of the most populated areas in the world, each country in Southeast Asia has had its own growing problems. Some are limited by space (Singapore, Philippines), while others are limited by forests (Thailand, Vietnam).

A World of Different Density Pictures

Though the above maps cover the five most populated countries on Earth, accounting for nearly half of the world’s population, they only show a small part of the global picture.

As the full global density map at the top of the page highlights, the population patterns can accurately illustrate some geographic patterns and constraints, while others need further exploration.

For example, the map clearly gives an outline of Africa and the sparse area that makes up the Sahara Desert. At the same time, landmasses like Australia and New Zealand are almost invisible save for a few clusters along the coast.

To get a closer and more intricate picture of each country’s density map, head to Alasdair Rae’s long thread of rendered maps and start scrolling up to find yours!

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