The vast majority of Hindi speakers are in India, where it is the official language, and especially popular in northern and central India. The Indian census of 2001 puts the number of first-language speakers of Hindi at 422 million, although this is a broader definition of Hindi than is used elsewhere, and includes dialects that would be considered by many linguists to be distinct languages.
The Indian figure, plus speakers numbering hundreds of thousands in South Africa, Fiji, the United States, Bangladesh, Yemen, Nepal and Malaysia, makes the world total around 424 million people, including speakers in at least 18 territories. This makes Hindi the second largest language by number of speakers, after Mandarin Chinese.
Spoken Hindi is very similar to Urdu, such that speakers of the two languages can usually understand one another. However, influences of other languages in India and Pakistan, and socio-linguistic considerations, mean that they are usually considered as separate languages. Hindi borrows words from the Sanskrit language.