According to José Luís Carneiro, Portugal’s secretary of state for Portuguese communities abroad, “By 2060, the Portuguese language is predicted to be spoken by 380 million people, and by the end of the century that number could increase to 500 million Portuguese speakers worldwide.”
Carneiro claimed that “there are very clear indicators related to [Portuguese’s] growth all around the world. As an example, three years ago, there were only three universities in China that taught Portuguese. Now, there are more than 40. In South Africa, demand to learn Portuguese is increasing by about 40%,” cited the official.
The secretary, speaking at a seminar entitled the Return of the Emigrants held in Vimioso, Bragança, in northern Portugal, added that on the west coast of Africa, from Ivory Coast to Namibia, “there is a growing demand for the Portuguese language.”
In South America, demand is also growing in Spanish-speaking countries, especially Argentina. “The Portuguese language is very relevant for culture, but also for economic opportunity, especially in Latin America and Southern Africa, which is why Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Instituto Camões indicators show increased interest in Portuguese,” said Carneiro.
“It is in Latin America where Portuguese is most widely spoken, but there are predictions that by the end of the century Portuguese will be more widely spoken on the African continent, due to the expected population growth in countries such as Angola and Mozambique,” he added.