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The World’s Top 10 Most Spoken Languages

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The World’s Top 10 Most Spoken Languages

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top 10 most spoken languages

The Briefing

  • Around 15% of the global population speaks English, making it the world’s most spoken language
  • However, only a third of English speakers consider it their native language
  • There are more native Mandarin Chinese speakers worldwide than native English speakers

The World’s 10 Most Spoken Languages

In today’s increasingly globalized world, having a shared means of communication—or an international language, rather—is more important than ever.

With over 1.1 billion speakers worldwide, English is currently the closest we’ve come to a lingua franca, a common language that connects people from different backgrounds.

However, Mandarin Chinese may one day catch up. Here’s a look at the top 10 most spoken languages across the globe:

RankLanguageTotal Speakers
1English1,132 million
2Mandarin Chinese1,117 million
3Hindi615 million
4Spanish534 million
5French280 million
6Standard Arabic274 million
7Bengali265 million
8Russian258 million
9Portuguese234 million
10Indonesian199 million

While English and Mandarin Chinese come close when looking at their total number of speakers, English has a wider geographical distribution—it’s classified as an official language in 67 different countries worldwide.

In contrast, Mandarin Chinese is recognized as an official language in just five regions.

Top 10 Languages By Native Speakers

Things look slightly different when looking at total native speakers, or people who consider a language their first/primary one.

In this instance, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish outrank English:

RankLanguageNative Speakers
1Mandarin Chinese918 million
2Spanish460 million
3English379 million
4Hindi341 million
5Bengali228 million
6Portuguese221 million
7Russian154 million
8Japanese128 million
9Western Punjabi93 million
10Marathi83 million

This begs the question—will English remain the “dominant” language in the years to come, or will the world be switching to a new lingua franca in the future?

»For a more in-depth look at languages, visit: The 100 Most Spoken Languages Around the World

Where does this data come from?

Source: Ethnologue
Notes: This database covers a majority of the world’s population and details approximately 7,111 living languages

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Datastream

Top Smartphone Brands, By Global Sales

Worldwide smartphone sales decreased by 12% in 2020, but sales are expected to bounce back this year. Will Samsung remain the top dog?

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Top Smartphone Brands Worldwide

The Briefing

  • In 2020, Samsung remained the top smartphone vendor based on units sold
  • Of the top five brands, Apple and Xiaomi were the only ones that saw sales increase in 2020
  • China is expected to see the most sales in 2021, but the highest growth areas are projected to be in Western Europe, Latin America, and in more mature markets in the Asia-Pacific

Top Smartphone Brands, By Global Sales

Many industries took a hit last year, and the smartphone market was no exception—in 2020, smartphone sales worldwide dropped by 12%.

Yet, despite an overall decrease, two of the top five global brands—Apple and Xiaomi—experienced an uptick in sales from the year prior.

Here’s a look at the top smartphone brands in 2020, by units sold:

Vendor2020 Sales (millions of units)2020 Market Share2020-2019 Growth
Samsung253.018.8%-14.6%
Apple199.814.8%3.3%
Huawei182.613.5%-24.1%
Xiaomi145.810.8%15.7%
OPPO111.88.3%-5.8%
Others454.833.7%-19.6%
Total1,347.9100.0%-12.5%

Samsung is King, For Now At Least

Samsung remains the top smartphone manufacturer—at least for now—capturing almost 19% of the global market in 2020. That’s about the same portion of market share it held back in 2019.

Yet, while Samsung’s market share remains relatively intact, sales did drop by almost 15% in 2020. That’s a slightly bigger dip than the overall market, which experienced a 12.5% decline in sales last year.

Meanwhile, Apple crawled up the ranks in 2020, surpassing Huawei and claiming the number two spot on the list. The U.S. company launched the iPhone 12 in October 2020, which boosted Q4 2020 unit sales by almost 15% compared to Q4 2019.

Forecast for 2021

The future looks promising for global smartphone sales, and this year is no exception. In fact, Gartner expects 11.4% growth in comparison to last year.

According to Gartner, growth is on the horizon for two main reasons—delayed device replacement, which was reflected in last year’s sales slump, and increased availability of new, more affordable products.

» Like this? Then you might also like: Visualized: A Snapshot of the Global Personal Tech Market

Where does this data come from?

Source: Gartner
Notes: According to Gartner, Mature Asia Pacific refers to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. Sales data is from 2020.

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Here’s What $1,000 Invested in Vaccine Stocks Would Be Worth Now

Ever wonder what you would have gotten if you invested $1,000 into the different vaccine stocks at the start of the pandemic?

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Vaccine stocks performance during the pandemic

The Briefing

  • Three of seven COVID-19 vaccine stocks have outperformed the S&P 500 since the beginning of the global pandemic
  • Novavax is the highest performing vaccine stock, returning 1,549% to shareholders

Vaccine Stocks During a Pandemic

It’s often said that with every crisis comes great opportunity.

While such catastrophes do create upheaval and uncertainty in financial markets, they can also lead to new opportunities for investors, as asset classes react to different environments.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the performance of vaccine stocks have been varied—but with some notable winners that notched triple or quadruple digit returns.

Here’s how much a $1,000 investment would be worth as of March 31, 2021, if you had put money into each vaccine stock at the start of the pandemic:

StockValue of Investment% GrowthMarket Cap ($B)
Novavax$16,4911,549.1%$14.3
Moderna$5,019401.9%$59.9
BioNTech$3,247224.7%$31.3
Johnson & Johnson$1,25225.2%$419.8
Pfizer$1,12212.2%$207.2
AstraZeneca$1,12112.1%$93.8
Sanofi$1,0969.6%$105.2

The Business of Vaccines

The returns on vaccine stocks have varied greatly. They are staggering in the case of Novavax and Moderna, but also seem quite underwhelming, when considering the likes of Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer.

One factor for the discrepancy in stock price performance is the revenue potential from vaccine sales relative to the rest of the existing business, as vaccine sales will have a much greater impact on the fundamentals of smaller companies.

For example, before the pandemic, Novavax had revenues of just $18.7 million—this meant that capturing any portion of global vaccine sales would create massive value for shareholders. On the flipside, vaccine sales are much less likely to impact the fundamentals of Sanofi’s business, since the company already is generating $40.5 billion in revenue.

To put it into perspective, analysts are expecting total sales from COVID-19 vaccines to be around $100 billion, with $40 billion in post-tax profits.

Vaccine Stocks vs the S&P 500

Even in a booming and valuable industry, it’s difficult to identify the long-term leaders. For example, in the mobile phone market, there was a time where the likes of Motorola, Nokia, and Blackberry appeared untouchable, but eventually lost out.

Similarly, with the limited information available at the start of the pandemic, few, if any, could have separated the winners and losers from this group with accuracy.

In the past year, the S&P 500 grew 44.9%—meaning that only three of the seven vaccine stocks have seen their share prices outperform the market.

Nobody said helping solve a global pandemic guarantees a pay off.

Where does this data come from?

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
Notes: Investment growth is calculated between March 11, 2020-March 31, 2021. All market capitalization values are as of March 31, 2021.

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