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I recently noticed that English was in front of Mandarin in the Wikipedia list of languages by total number of speakers, so I wondered when it became first. I didn't find any convenient statistics on the historical evolution of the number of speakers of languages, but I was able to use the internet archive's wayback machine on the website ethnologue.com (wikipedia's source). This is what I found:

Table and graph of the number of speakers of languages of English and Mandarin according to the website ethnologue.com between the 13 of February 2018 and the 17 of May 2019

There is a huge jump in the total number of speakers on ethnologue.com between the 13th of February and the 28th of February 2018 (from 983 million to 1,121 billion).

What happened? Was there a change in the way this number is computed? Are the results from before 2018 still valid?

Thanks for your answers!

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