Bible Translation Statistics

Today, millions more people around the world have access to God’s Word in the language they understand best. God is accomplishing His mission through His power and through partnership. There are about 7000 languages in active use and at least one book of Scripture exists in over 2,900 of these languages.

At least 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible available in their first language. Over 663 million of these have the New Testament; others have portions or at least some level of work begun.

There is known active translation and/or linguistic development happening in 2,267 languages across more than 130 countries

Staff from organisations in the Alliance are involved in approximately 78% of these programmes.

As of October 1st 2015, estimates suggest between 165 and 180 million people speaking up to 1,800 languages are understood to ‘likely need Bible translation to begin’ (see notes in FAQ).The first Wycliffe organization was formed in 1942 to support work already beginning. Today, over 100 organizations from more than 60 nations form the Wycliffe Global Alliance.

Wycliffe Global Alliance organisations and personnel have been involved in the translation of Bibles and New Testaments in more than 890 languages. At least one of the gospels has been published in an additional 460 languages. Many other languages have other initial portions published.

Working in community partnerships, Alliance personnel not only assist in Scripture-related goals but also help produce thousands of resources for literacy, education, health and other development-related objectives alongside Scripture.

An ever increasing number of Scripture products are now in digital formats as text, audio and video. These are often available on websites, social media or through a variety of phone apps as well as in formats that can be easily shared phone to phone in places with limited internet. Many of these resources can be found on the language information pages.
By October 2015 YouVersion had 1200 versions in 868 languages. (Speakers of many larger languages have multiple versions available.)

Alliance partner Faith Comes by Hearing has completed Audio Scriptures in 915 languages.

Another partner, The JESUS Film Project, has released over 1370 different language versions of their film.

There are many additional partnerships and new initiatives contributing to the growth of Bible translation movements and the distribution and use of God’s Word.

There are many other numbers we could report on and many we do not know. We cannot count how many lives have been positively affected as a result of Bible translation. Nor do we have a figure for the number of people who have prayed or given financially so that others might give their time and sometimes their lives. We speak on behalf of millions of lives across the world when we say, “Thank you!”

Statistics are rarely as simple as the numbers imply.  Please read the FAQ sheet before quoting these figures. Wycliffe Global Alliance presentations of Scripture and Language Statistics are compiled from data provided by Wycliffe Organisations, SIL International and other partners. Data is current as of Oct 1 2015. Population data is based on available information about first language speakers in SIL’s Ethnologue.

Further stories about people and projects are available at

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From Copyright © 2015 Wycliffe Global Alliance

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word

Verse for today

The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others.