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Table 1 Overview of languages included relative to the total population. Level indicates the national (1), provincial (2), or used for wider communication (3). See online supplement 1 for the comprehensive overview. Languages spoken by > 10 million people plus national languages (level 1) are included

From: Patient-Reported OUtcome measures in key African languages to promote Diversity in research and clinical practice (PROUD)—protocol for a systematic review of measurement properties

   Summary statistics  
Total population 1,072,128,000
N English speaking 169,531,510
Mean (SD) living languages 57 (85)
Mean (SD) literacy rate 65% (20%)
Languages spoken by >  10 million Language N spoken Level Ranking (max 94)
Swahili 108,888,800 1 1
French 88,135,710 1 2
Arabic 75,160,000 1 3
Hausa 71,219,000 2 4
Pidgin 62078,000 3 5
Amharic 56,900,000 1 6
Yoruba 42,209,000 2 7
Portuguese 29,311,250 1 8
Igbo 29,000,000 2 9
Zulu 27,300,000 1 10
Sotho 27,230,000 1 11
Xhosa 19,150,000 1 12
Oromo 19,100,000 2 13
Afrikaans 17,287,000 1 14
Fulfulde 16,169,000 3 15
Somali 14,635,600 1 16
Setswana 13,630,000 1 17
Wolof 12,522,000 3 18
Jula 12,504,000 3 19
Kinyarwanda 11,600,000 1 20
Rundi 10,420,000 1 21
Ibibio 10,380,000 3 22
+ National languages Malagasy 7,520,000 1 28
Tsonga 5,680,000 1 36
Sango 5,100,000 1 38
Swati 4,800,000 1 40
Ndebele 4,100,000 1 42
Venda 2,910,000 1 48
Creole 2,151,200 1 52
Spanish 787,000 1 67
Kabuverdianu 492,000 1 76