A study carried out not too long ago by the European Commission, described the only two native English speaking member states, namely the UK and Ireland, as “having moderate language skills” in comparison with other EU countries. About two thirds of the people in the UK and Ireland speak only English whereas the majority of the populations of the other EU member states spoke more than one language. And it’s a pattern which is repeated in most other countries where English is the mother tongue. In Australia, the rates are even lower.
The high rates of bilingualism in Europe are in large part thanks to the dominance of the English language and are not driven by a general desire on the part of Europeans to learn languages but rather by a specific need to learn English. It is by far the most commonly learned language in continental Europe.