List of countries where Tamil is an official language

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The following is a list of sovereign states and territories where Tamil is an official or language of government.

Sovereign Countries[change | change source]

Countries where Tamil is a de jure/official language.
Country Region Population1 Status
India India[1] Asia 1,247,540,000 Sovereign country
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka[2] Asia 5,007,003[3] Sovereign country
Singapore Singapore[4] Asia 188,591[5] Sovereign country

Dependent entities where Tamil is an official language[change | change source]

Entity Continent Population Status
India Auroville Asia 2,600 Autonomous city of India
India Pondicherry Asia 1,244,464 Union Territory of India
India Tamil Nadu Asia 72,138,958 State of India

Recognized as minority language[change | change source]

Country Population Notes
South Africa South Africa 250,000 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 - Chapter 1: Founding Provisions states "A Pan South African Language Board established by national legislation must promote and ensure respect for Tamil" along with other minority languages.[6]
Malaysia Malaysia 1,800,000 Malaysian government recognize Tamil as a minority language along with Chinese. The "national-type" school's medium of instruction is either in Tamil or Chinese.[7]
Mauritius Mauritius 72,089 Tamils are the first immigrants to Mauritius who were brought by French. Later British brought Tamils to fight with French and as a recognition, Tamil is being used on the currency of Mauritius.[8]

Partially recognized and unrecognized territories[change | change source]

Entity Notes
Tamil Eelam (Eelam) Claiming sovereignty over the North and Eastern Sri Lanka and Puttalam district as[9][10]
India Karaikal Claiming for a separate union territory in India.[11]

Former territories resp. dependent entities where Tamil was an official language[change | change source]

Entity Continent Population Status Notes
India Haryana Asia 10,572 State of India Tamil was once given nominal official status in Haryana but it was later replaced with Punjabi, in 2010.

Countries where Tamil is used and has cultural impact but not official[change | change source]

Country Region
France Réunion [12] Africa
 Seychelles [13] Africa

References[change | change source]

  1. "Languages with official status in India". Wikipedia. 2019-09-23.
  2. "Language Dept Sri Lanka". Tamil and Sinhala official language of Sri Lanka
  3. "Census of Population and Housing of Sri Lanka, 2012" (PDF). Census of Population and Housing of Sri Lanka, 2012. Department of Census and Statistics-Sri Lanka.
  4. Wong, Aline (2000-11-24). "Education in a Multicultural Setting - The Singapore Experience". Ministry of Education, Government of Singapore. Retrieved 2009-01-18. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
  5. "Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Republic of Singapore" (PDF). Census of population 2010. Department of statistics Singapore.
  6. "Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 - Chapter 1: Founding Provisions - South African Government".
  7. "National Identity and Minority Languages - UN Chronicle".
  8. "A Brief History of the Tamils of Mauritius (M. Sangeelee)".
  10. "India may have 50 states if all demands for new states are met - Times of India". The Times of India.
  11. "The Hindu : Tamil Nadu News : Pondy Dy. Speaker flayed".
  12. "Reunion Culture".
  13. "Seychelles National Culture".

Other websites[change | change source]