Picture Languages

Tamil speaking countries

Tamil is an official language in Sri Lanka and Singapore and is spoken in 3 other countries as monther tongue by a part of the population. The Tamil language (native name: தமிழ்) has its roots in the Dravidian language family.

With 84.12 million native speakers, Tamil has the highest prevalence in India. As a percentage of the total population, the largest share of around 18 percent is in Sri Lanka. A total of about 89.7 million people worldwide speak Tamil as their mother tongue.
Distribution Tamil

CountryRegionOfficial languageDistributionTotal
IndiaSouth Asiano5.9 %84,121,000
Sri LankaSouth Asiayes18.0 %3,988,000
MalaysiaSoutheast Asiano3.9 %1,309,000
SingaporeSoutheast Asiayes4.4 %240,000
MauritiusEastern Africano0.8 %10,000

Unless otherwise described in the text, this page is about native speakers — not the total number of speakers. How many people understand or speak Tamil as a subsequently learned language is not the subject of this page. Countries where native speakers make up only a few thousand, or even a few hundred people, or countries with a percentage well below 1% are unlikely to be listed here.