Russian, which is the most popular non-EU language, takes fifth place, with about 500,000 students taking classes in Russian as a foreign language.Alamy/Legion Media
More than 18 million elementary school students in the European Union — roughly 84 percent of all EU students — studied at least one foreign language in 2014, according to statistics agency Eurostat, which published its findings on Sept. 23 as part of the European Day of Foreign Languages, Interfax.ru reported.
The most popular language by far for elementary school students is English. The language is studied by roughly 17 million students.
Russian, which is the most popular non-EU language, takes fifth place, with about 500,000 students taking classes in Russian as a foreign language. The majority of the students studying Russian are from the Baltic states, Slovakia and Bulgaria.
English remains the most popular language for middle and upper school students as well — 97 percent of all students at this age level who study a foreign language choose English.
The second most popular language is French, with five million students or 34 percent of EU schoolchildren, followed by German, studied by three million students and Spanish, studied by two million students. Italian comes in sixth place, with 200,000 students studying it as a foreign language.
The entire report is available here
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