The English language is alive and well in The Hague. This is evident from the EF English Proficiency Index, an annual international measurement of language skills. Of all countries where the native language is not English, the Netherlands has the best command of that language. And the very best in English as a foreign language live in Rotterdam, closely followed by Amsterdam and The Hague.

The people of The Hague who participated in the language test scored an average of 71.27 on a scale of 1 to 100. In Rotterdam, the average score was 71.68 and the Amsterdammers achieved 71.35 points. Education First investigated language proficiency in 100 countries. It is striking that the three Dutch cities not only rank best nationally, but also score high internationally. “There are more than 400 cities and regions from 100 countries on that ranking,” explains Marc Hollander, EF Netherlands Country Manager. For the EF English Proficiency Index 2019, the language level of 2.3 million people worldwide was measured.

Legal capital of the world The Hague, international city of peace and justice, has many international organizations and embassies. So it’s not surprising that the Hofstad is in the top 3 of Dutch cities that have the best command of the English language. The international character of The Hague largely determines the identity of the city. The status of The Hague as the legal capital of the world is a unique selling point for the city. Starting on time with English education also contributes to Dutch performance, the researchers concluded.

The ranking can also be ranked in the twelve Dutch provinces. Completely in line with Rotterdam’s win and high Hague score, South Holland is also the best here (71.06), closely followed by Noord-Holland (70.35) and Gelderland (70.17). Unfortunately for the people of Drenthe, they are losing out with an average of 68.08.

Standard English Test
Education First (EF) training institute publishes the English Proficiency Index (EPI) every year since 2011. This index shows the level at which non-native English-speaking countries speak English.

The prosperity and the small number of inhabitants seem to be the ideal combination for good English language skills in the Netherlands, the researchers think. A “small” language such as Dutch plays a marginal role on the world stage, which means that speakers of that language must quickly switch to English. “English remains the undisputed world language of business,” said Dr. Minh Tran, EF Executive Director of Academic Affairs.

The EF EPIs and EF EPI reports and country / region fact sheets can be downloaded at ef.nl/epi. Read more about the services of EF via ef.nl/pg