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In Asia, former British colonies like Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia use English as either an official language or a de facto common language, and it is taught in all private and public schools as a mandatory subject. There are a considerable number of native English speakers in urban areas in both countries. In Hong Kong, English is co-official with Chinese, and is widely used in business activities. It is taught from infant school and kindergarten, and is the medium of instruction for a few primary schools, many secondary schools and all universities. Substantial numbers of students reach native-speaker fluency. It is so widely used that it is inadequate to say that it is merely a second or foreign language, though there is still a percentage of people in Hong Kong with poor or little command of English.
The majority of English native speakers (67 to 70 per cent) live in the United States . Although the U.S. Federal government has no official languages, English has been given official status by 27 of the 50 state governments, all but three of which (Hawaii, New Mexico and Louisiana) have declared English their sole official language.
In many other countries, where English is not a first language, it is an official language; these countries include Belize, Cameroon, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Ghana, Gambia, India, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.