World population: More than 6.5 billion.
Number of languages currently spoken in the world: 6,912
Number of languages needing Bible translation work to begin: 2529 (representing approximately 272 million people).
Number of personnel needed: 2,978. There are ongoing needs for linguists, translators, literacy specialists, trainers, project managers, computer specialists, accountants, administrators, teachers and other support roles.
On Languages and Wycliffe Bible Translators
- Over 623 New Testaments have been produced with the help of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
- Wycliffe members are currently helping to translate the Bible into the languages of an additional 1,294 people groups representing nearly 600 million people in 93 countries.
- Wycliffe also works closely with these people groups to encourage literacy, so that the Bible, once translated, does not remain a closed book.
- Our staff share a Christian commitment to service, academic excellence, and professional engagement through literacy, linguistics, translation, and other academic disciplines.
- The SIL-sponsored Ethnologue database is considered the most comprehensive listing of information about the known languages of the world.
- 2403 of the world's 6912 languages have some or all of the Bible.
- 2058 languages (approximately 30%) are spoken in Africa.
- 302 languages in Africa have a complete Bible.
- 483 languages in Africa have active language projects.
- 881 African languages still have no language project started.
- Of the 128 languages in Tanzania, 127 are living languages and 1 is extinct.
- Of the 45 languages in Uganda, 43 are living languages and 2 are extinct.
- Worldwide, the rate of literacy is increasing. However, due to population growth, the actual number of non-literates is not decreasing.
- About 862 million adults cannot read.
- Two-thirds of the about one billion non-literates worldwide are women.
- 98% of non-literates live in developing countries.
- Illiteracy in Africa: 50%
- At least 25% of the population in Tanzania is illiterate (according to the UNICEF Tanzania Statistics, 2000).
- Literate workers adapt more easily to changing job requirements.
- Half of all the world's non-literates are minority language speakers.
- In 26 countries, over 90% of people speak languages in which education is unavailable.
- In least develped countries, 45% of children ages 6-11 do not attend school.
- Countries with low literacy skills have high chronic health and safety risks.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Arab States, nearly 100 million children are not in school.
- Getting more education has a large effect on improving income levels.
- There are 500 languages in the Bantu family of languages spoken by about 200 million Africans spread out from the equator to South Africa. Of these, approximately 14 million individuals speak one of 250 languages without the Scriptures.
- The Bantu language family represents about 9% of the remaining Vision 2025 task (or 25% of the remaining task in Africa).
- Bantu languages are found in seventeen countries in Africa.
- The average size of the languages without Scriptures is 50,000-60,000 people. Some parts of these regions are difficult to access because of security concerns.
- 44% of the Bantu population lives in Tanzania.
- 16% of the Bantu population lives in Uganda.
For more statistics visit our Wycliffe international statistics page.