Does Netflix Have Too Much Foreign Content?

Kasey Moore What's on Netflix Avatar

does netflix have too many foreign titles

Netflix app – Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

It’s a constant criticism of Netflix that is seen all around the internet. “Netflix has too much foreign stuff”, “there’s barely any English content on Netflix”, “too many titles with subtitles”. How true are these statements though? Well, we’ve put in the painstaking work to see how much of the library are English movies and TV series and how many are foreign titles. 

Firstly, a few caveats here. The question this article seeks to answer is ultimately going to be down to personal preference as to whether you think it’s a good or bad thing. Personally, some of the best content on Netflix I’ve experienced are foreign-language titles. Money Heist (Spanish) and Dark (German) immediately stick out in my mind. But then, I haven’t touched the Hindi selection at all (which is substantial).

The benefits of having a library full of languages different from your primary language far outweigh the negatives. It’s led to some being able to learn languages plus it exposes you to stories and people that you otherwise wouldn’t be.

Let’s now get into the numbers but bear in mind, we’re only talking about the United States library below. Other regions will vary often dramatically as far as licensing goes.

How much English content is there on Netflix?

English titles make up around 55% of the total library Netflix has in the United States meaning that 45% are foreign-language titles.

By our count, there are 3180 English movies and TV series on Netflix out of the total 5806.

By our count, there are 62 languages on Netflix with some of the rarest being Quechua, Sanskirt, Nepali, Czech, Persian, Yiddish, Assamese, and Wolof.

It’s important to note this is referring to the primary language of the show or movie. In a lot of cases, Netflix provides audio dub such as for animes (that are Japanese by default), and in almost every case, English subtitles are available.

netflix languages graph

Here’s a breakdown of the number of titles:

Language Number of Titles
English 3186
Hindi 552
Spanish 364
Japanese 214
Mandarin 203
Korean 147
Arabic 134
French 126
Thai 97
Turkish 84
Portuguese 61
Cantonese 59
Tamil 56
Indonesian 54
Filipino 49
German 47
Malayalam 43
Punjabi 30
Italian 28
Polish 26
Malay 24
Other Languages 230

How many Netflix Originals are English?

Next, we’ll check on how many English titles Netflix is making itself that resides within its Netflix Originals library.

As of August 5th, 2020, there are 1,767 active Netflix Originals and of those, 1,140 are in English. That represents about 65% of all Netflix Originals being presented in English.

How does this match up with other streaming services?

We’ve reported before that the Disney+ library is now roughly 20% of what Netflix’s is (up from 13% at launch). 1083 titles compared to Netflix’s 5806.

When you consider that almost all (except in rare circumstances) content on Disney+ is in English, you get closer to a third of the content when comparing only the two English libraries.

Unfortunetely, we were unable to filter down the Hulu library (that consists of 2528 titles (according to Flixable) or Amazon Prime.

Browse language titles on What’s on Netflix

Just as an aside, all of this research and database filing means we’re happy to be able to provide expanded lists on our Netflix Library pages.

We’re now able to give you the entire lists of what English titles are on Netflix US and foreign language content such as every Spanish title on Netflix or French.

We’ll slowly keep adding languages over time with German and Dutch currently on the to-do list.

whats on netflix language selections

Do you think Netflix has too much foreign content? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by

Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.