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French is one of the world’s most spoken languages. With over 275 million total speakers worldwide. French is the 5th most popular language in the world by the total number of speakers. 

French is the official language of 29 countries. Over 50% of french speaking people in the world are African.

So, what are the largest French-speaking cities in the world by population?

 

LARGEST FRENCH SPEAKING CITIES IN THE WORLD

World Ranking City Country Total Population % of French Speakers
# 1 Kinshasa DRC 14,342,000 68
# 2 Paris France"}”>France 11,017,000 97
# 3 Abidjan Ivory Coast 5,203,000 99
# 4 Montreal Canada 4,221,000 66
# 5 Yaounde Cameroon 3,992,000 80
# 6 Casablanca Morocco 3,752,000 35
# 7 Douala Cameroon 3,663,000 99
# 8 Antananarivo Madagascar 3,369,000 20
# 9 Dakar Senegal 3,140,000 20
# 10 Ouagadougou Burkina Faso 2,780,000 24
# 11 Port-au-Prince Haiti 2,774,000 90
# 12 Algiers Algeria 2,768,000 33
# 13 Bamako Mali 2,618,000 21
# 14 Mbuji-Mayi DRC 2,525,000 47
# 15 Lubumbashi DRC 2,478,000 47
# 16 Beirut Lebanon 2,424,000 45
# 17 Brazzaville Republic of the Congo 2,388,000 88
# 18 Tunis Tunisia 2,365,000 63
# 19 Brussel Belgium 2,081,000 40
# 20 Lyon France 1,719,000 97

 

 

KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC), 14,342,000

Kinshasa is the capital and largest city in the DRC. This once fishing village is now one of the largest cities on the African continent. Once ruled by Belgium. The DRC is the largest french speaking country in Africa. Kinshasa faces the city of Brazzaville, the capital city of the Republic of the Congo.

PARIS, FRANCE, 11,017,000

Paris is the capital and largest city in France. Famous for its museums, iconic monuments, food, and of course, French-speaking people. Once the largest french speaking city in the world. Paris has slid out of first place down to the second. It is also considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST, 5,203,000

Abidjan has become a major hub in West Africa. Abidjan is unlike many other African cities as its downtown is made of skyscrapers and resembles some more modern cities around the globe. The development of the city has allowed it to become one of the largest French-speaking cities in the world.

MONTREAL, CANADA, 4,221,000

Montreal was the 2nd largest French-speaking city after Paris for years. Montreal is at the heart of culture in Canada and is the largest French-speaking city in Canada. The city is a mix of European and North American cultures with both French and English speakers coming together in one city.

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON, 3,992,000

Yaounde is the capital and largest city in Cameroon and is a bilingual city with approximately 80% of the population being able to communicate in French. Yaounde is the first of two Cameroon cities to make the list. The city is well planned out with lots of lush green.

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO, 3,752,00

French influence in Morocco has had a lasting effect with about 33% of the Moroccan people being able to communicate in French. The largest city in Morocco, Casablanca has incredible sights to be seen. It is a major international hub and the city boasts amazing food as well as an authentic experience.

DOUALA, CAMEROON, 3,663,000

Douala is the second-largest city in Cameroon. Cameroon has both English and French as national languages with francophones making up about 80% of the population in Cameroon. Douala is known for its sea food.

ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR, 3,369,00

Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar. The island nation is famous for its unique wildlife which most of it can only be found on the island. Antananarivo is a meld of different influences local culture in both English and French.

DAKAR, SENEGAL, 3,140,000

Dakar is one of the largest French-speaking cities in the world. The capital city of Senegal, Dakar is a trendy city with a vibrant heartbeat. Soccer is king and Senegal is one of the top football (soccer) nations in the world.

OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO, 2,780,000

Ouagadougou is the economic center of Burkina Faso. Ouagadougou is the most populated city in the country.

Ouagadougou has a thriving culture scene, arts, music, and East African textiles are just some of the things you can find here.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, 2,774,000

Haiti was the first black republic in the world. The island nation shares half of its island with the Dominican Republic. Port-au-Prince’s size once put it higher on the list but the recent population booms in Africa has seen it slip a few spaces in the list of most populated French speaking cities in the world.

ALGIERS, ALGERIA, 2,768,000

France’s colonial rule over Algeria makes it another one of the world’s largest French-speaking cities. A reminder of its past, French is not an official language of Algeria. However, it is still widely used in media and schools, and even parts of the government.

BAMAKO, MALI, 2,618,000

Once the fastest-growing city in Africa, Bamako has become a major hub for Mali. Mali has a rich history of kings of gold; Mansa Musa was once the world’s richest man in the world. He single-handedly caused Egypt to have an economic crisis because he spent so much gold in the country.

MBUJI-MAYI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, 2,525,000

Mbuji-Mayi, in the DRC, has one of the world’s richest mineral deposits. Estimated to have 300 million karts in diamonds alone.

The DRC is still one of the poorest and underdeveloped countries in the world despite being one of the richest countries for natural resources.

LUBUMBASHI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, 2,478,000

Lubumbashi is just a bit smaller than Mbuji-Mayi but the two cities are continuing to grow.

The DRC is full of immense natural wealth.

The country is still dealing with extreme levels of poverty and most foreign help comes from companies exporting from the country for its resource.

 

BEIRUT, LEBANON, 2,424,000

A former French protectorate the Lebanese have a fairly good understanding of French, especially with the older generation.

The youth still can speak French quite well, however, most of them now tend to use English.

Lebanon is a very multilingual country.

BRAZZAVILLE, REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, 2,388,000

Brazzaville sits across the river Congo from Kinshasa, the largest french speaking city in the world.

Brazzaville is the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Congo.

The Congo has dealt with social issues in relation to poverty and corruption. The lack of infrastructure has severely hampered economic growth in this mineral-rich country.

TUNIS, TUNISIA, 2,365,000

Tunis is a popular African tourist holiday destination for many Europeans. Famous for a rich history, beautiful beaches, and ancient architecture all make Tunis a beautiful city. French is spoken by about 65% of the population.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 2,081,000

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium. French is one of the three official languages in Belgium and is spoken by approximately 45% of people.

Brussels is world-famous for its chocolate, beer, and delicious Pomme Frites (french fries).

 

LYON, FRANCE, 1,719,000

Lyon is the second-largest city in France. Lyon is an old city founded in 43BC.

Naturally, as the city is located in France, the city is very french with cafes on the street, public spaces, roman ruins, and the French charm.

The world is full of francophones and these are the largest cities with French-speaking residents. If you are looking to learn French or improve your language skills you may consider visiting one of the above-listed cities.