Update! Total number of secondary level students studying Latin and Ancient Greek in the world

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Authored and posted by Emily Franzini.

Here is an updated version of the blogpost that I published last March [link: here] in which I gave a brief account of my experience in trying to quantify the total number of students studying the Latin and Ancient Greek languages across the world. I am extremely grateful to all the Classicists and non-Classicists out there who pointed me in the right direction, and thanks to whom I have now identified the numbers for four more areas in the world: the Flanders (in Belgium), Switzerland, France and New Zealand. Here are some considerations.

Switzerland filled me with joy, coming in second with 16.8% of its students studying Latin, after Italy (40%). The Flanders too strives to breed young Latinists, with 9% of its students studying the language, 0.3% more than Germany. There are 501,100 students of Latin in France, which I thought incredibly impressive considering Latin is by no means compulsory in schools. I had no idea what to expect for New Zealand, but this is what I found: there are 1,501 students of Latin and none of Greek.

Switzerland and the Flanders tie in second place with 1.2% of students studying Greek in each country – Italy remains first with 13.6%. France is in fifth place after Croatia with 34,000 students of Greek.

I’m still desperately trying to find accurate results for Spain, Greece and Egypt, so any further help would be greatly appreciated. When researching South Africa, I discovered that local Classics professors estimate no more than 100 Latin and 50 Greek students, but, for this, I have yet to find exact documentation. However, it was fascinating to find out that there are Latin and Greek students also in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Congo and Malawi.

As always, if you know the stats of your own country or know where I could find them, please send me an email at efranzini(at)informatik(dot)uni-leipzig(dot)de or leave a comment.

[For the stats complete with sources, download the PDF file below.]

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  1. A fascinating article. You may be interested to know that there are two of us teaching Latin in South Korea, in the medium of English to mainly Korean students. We have 76 senior students and about 100 Junior (ages 9-11) students.

  2. Dear Emily,

    Greek and Latin are not learnt in High school in Egypt, instead the students are introduced to these two languages in their first semesters in classics departments. I did have a rough number of these students based on the information provided to me by colleagues in Ain Shams, Cairo, Alexandria and other universities in the Nile Valley. A total number of approximately 1500-2000 students are learning either Latin and/or Greek every year in the Egyptian universities. The most accurate of all these numbers are that of my own university , Ain Shams, admitting about 400 yearly to classics department in which I’m working. Cairo university admits only 100 students every year. The other numbers fluctuate every year, but a rough estimation of 1500-2000 learning Greek and Latin every year would not be an exaggeration.

    Usama Gad

  3. Grazie di aver condiviso la nostra ricerca. Posso chiedere – dove si basa Latinorum? Grazie, Emily Franzini



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