Portuguese is the mother tongue of about 170 million people, mainly in Portugal and the Portuguese islands in the Atlantic (approximately 11 million speakers); in Brazil (about 154 million speakers); and in Portugal's former abroad provinces in Africa and Asia (approximately 5 million speakers). These nations are members of the Community of Portuguese languages Countries, which was established in 1996.

Geographic distribution

Nowadays, Portuguese is the official language of various countries such as Angola, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and Mozambique.
It is considered one of the official languages of Equatorial Guinea (with Spanish and French), the Chinese particularly administrative region of Macau (with Chinese), and East Timor, (with Tetum). It is a native language of most of the population in Portugal (100%), Brazil (100%), Angola (60%), and São Tomé and Príncipe (50%), and it is spoken by a diversity of the people of Mozambique (40%), although only 6.5% are native speakers. No statistics is available for Cape Verde, but almost all the people are bilingual and the monolingual population speaks Cape Verdean Creole.

Today, there are small Portuguese-speaking communities’ former overseas colonies of Portugal such as Macau, where it is spoken as a first tongue by 0.6% of inhabitant and East Timor.

In Uruguay the Portuguese and the Spanish have equal status in its educational system at the north limit with Brazil. In the rest of the country, it's taught as a mandatory topic beginning by the 6th grade.

It is also spoken by considerable immigrant communities, though not official, in Andorra, France, Luxembourg, Jersey (with a statistically considerable Portuguese-speaking population of about 10,000 people), Paraguay, Namibia, South Africa, Switzerland, Venezuela and in the U.S. states of California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. In some parts of India, such as Goa and Daman and Diu Portuguese is still spoken. There are also considerable populations of Portuguese speakers in Canada (principally concentrated in and around Toronto) Bermuda and Netherlands Antilles.

Portuguese is an official language of various international organizations, such as the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the European Union, Mercosul, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union of South American Nations, and the African Union.

Portuguese and Spanish languages are the fastest-growing European languages, and, according to the UNESCO, Portuguese is the language with the highest possibilities for growth as an international language in southern Africa and South America.