English proficiency index

Third Edition:

Seven countries join the index for the first time: Estonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Jordan, and Iraq. Three have been removed due to insufficient data: Dominican Republic, Syria, and Pakistan.

The first two editions of the EF EPI used archival data spanning three years each from 2007 to 2009 and 2009 to 2011, respectively. Due to the overwhelming interest generated by the previous two reports, we have decided to publish the EF EPI annually from this edition forward using a single year’s data. This annual report format will allow us to capture and report trends as they occur.

In this third EF EPI report, we have used test data from the 750,000 adults who took our English tests in 2012 to create the global country rankings, while at the same time analyzing the English proficiency trends that have emerged over the past six years (2007 to 2012), using test data from nearly five million adults.

We zoom in on ten countries and one territory to consider the contexts for the improvement in English skills in China, Russia, Spain, and Brazil; the stagnation in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Germany, and Mexico; and declining English skills in France. These eleven spotlights illustrate the diversity of the challenges faced and strategies devised to train a capable workforce for today’s globalized economy.