Remarkable Growth in Chinese Language Learners

Some fascinating stats on the rapid growth in people learning Chinese worldwide:

  • Confucius Institutes have grown from 25 in 2005 to 123 by the end of 2006
  • In 2003 there were 200 primary and middle schools in the U.S. teaching Chinese, and that number has now grown to 600
  • in 2005 roughly 120,000 people took the Chinese proficiency test for non-Chinese speakers, and that was 240,000 by the end of 2006
  • 40-million people are currently learning Chinese worldwide, and the Chinese Ministry of Education expects that to reach at least 100-million — roughly the population of Mexico — by 2010

[via China Daily]


  1. alexander says:

    Wait a second, aren’t the Confucius Institutes partially government funded? An increase in their numbers doesn’t indicate anything more than the Chinese government’s willingness to spend money.
    IMHO China Daily is better than, but still not a reliable source.

  2. I agree — witness the traffic accident data I cited earlier — but I still think getting a rough handle on Chinese language learners growth is interesting. It is big, but how big is still open….