The Largest Francophone Cities in the World

By Zainab Reza on August 1 2017 in Society

Paris is one of the largest French-speaking cities in the world.
Paris is one of the largest French-speaking cities in the world.

There are more than 6000 living languages which people speak as a means of communication across the world. Some of these languages are growing and developing while others are on the path of distinction. With so many languages around these days, what's most interesting is that a mere five percent of these languages are spoken by more than ninety percent of the total population of the world. These figures make the role of languages a whole lot more important.

French is the official language of 29 counties and 12 dependent territories around the world. It is the second most spoken language of Europe and ranks sixth in the world. After its decline in the 20th century due to British colonialism, French is again gaining popularity across the world, and has particularly gained popularity rather rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa. Around 300 million people from Europe, Africa, North & South America and Asia speak French, out of which more than 200 million speak it in their daily lives as first or second language. This is the reason why experts predict that French just might become the world’s most spoken language in the next three to four decades.

10. Paris, France (12.2 million)

Paris, also known as the city of love and romance, is the capital of France. It is the largest francophone city in the entire world with a population of 12.2 million. Along with being the most populous city of the country, Paris has been the political, economic, religious and cultural hub of Europe since the middle ages. It is also one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe, and has particularly gained fame for the Eiffel Tower, Catacombs and Arenes de Lutece. However, there is a ten percent decline in international visitors since the 2015 terrorist attacks took place. Paris is also known as a fashion and art capital of the world.

9. Kinshasa, DRC (9.0 million)

Founded by Henry Morton Stanley (American journalist and explorer) in 1881, Kinshasa is the capital as well as the largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Situated on Congo River, Kinshasa faces Brazzaville, the capital of Republic of Congo. French is the official language of the city; because of which it is spoken commonly in educational institutions and is used in newspapers and even public signs etc. On top of it all, Kinshasa also happens to be one of the largest equatorial cities in this world.

8. Abidjan, Ivory Coast (7.1 million)

Abidjan is the largest and most populous city of Ivory Coast with a population of about 7.1 million. It is the economic center together with being the official economic capital of the country. It is the most developed and well-administrated city in Africa. Abidjan’s economy mainly relies on its sea port and industry. With its modern infrastructure, this francophone city reminds people of some of the most famous business centers in America and Europe.

7. Montreal, Canada (3.8 million)

Montreal is the largest city of Quebec province along with being the second largest city in Canada. It is one of the oldest cities of Northern America which reflects in its European style architecture. It is for this reason that it is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It is famous for its beauty, art, fashion, culture, film industry and higher education opportunities. Montreal is a French speaking city, which is why it is the ideal destination for immigrants from French speaking countries.

6. Port-au-Prince, Haiti (2.5 million)

Port-au-Prince is the capital city of Haiti. It is also the most populous city of the country and hosts almost half the population of Haiti. Situated at the Caribbean Sea, Port-au-Prince is one of the poorest cities of the Americas, and its economy mainly relies on its sea port and tourism. The city had long been facing several social and economic difficulties. To top it off, the major architecture of Port-au-Prince was severely affected by an earthquake in 2010, which also affected its tourism industry.

5. Dakar, Senegal (2.5 million)

Dakar is the capital as well as the largest city of Senegal. It has a population of 2.5 million and with the vibrant colors of African, Islamic and European culture, it is a major city of West Africa. Back in the day, it was famous as the end point to Paris. The area around the city was established back in the 15th century and was later taken over by France in 1677. It is because of its colonial history that French is spoken so commonly in Dakar and is the official language of Senegal in general. As of now, Dakar boasts of multiple national and regional banks together with several international organizations. Up until 2007, it was the finishing point of the Dakar Rally as well.

4. Douala, Cameroon (2.4 million)

Douala is the largest city in Cameroon. It is one of the top developed cities in Africa. Due to its commercial and industrial development, Douala is one of the hottest destinations in Africa for foreign investors. With the highest standard of living in Africa, it is known to attract people for its calm and friendly environment. French is the official language of the city, although English is commonly spoken too. However, the usage of French is predominant in official dealings.

3. Yaounde, Cameroon (2.4 million)

Yaounde is the capital and second largest city in Cameroon with a population of nearly 2.4 million. Due to its high altitude and hills, Yaounde is known to have the best climate as compared to other major cities of the region. Its rich culture and natural beauty attracts travelers from around the world all through the year. It is a bilingual city where French and English are both official languages. However, French is the predominant language and all the education is in French.

2. Lyon, France (2.1 million)

Lyon is the third most populous city in France. It is famous for its historical importance along with its cultural and architectural beauty. The city is also known for being home to Interpol Headquarters. Lyon is one of the top 50 cities for livability. It is home to a number of internationally known industries. Lyon also carries the status of being a World Heritage site.

1. Lumbumbashi, DRC (1.8 million)

Lumbumbashi is located in the southeastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Zambian border. It is known for its industrial development in the country, specially the copper mining industry. With a population of about 1.8 million, it is counted among the largest Francophone cities in the world.

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