You’ve just landed on this page because you may need Spanish translations for your business or organization. If so, please contact us using the form to the right. Spanish has the second largest number of native speakers in the world and it makes absolute sense to have your website translated into Spanish. But, do you know how many countries speak Spanish?
How Many People Speak Spanish, And Where Is It Spoken?
Spanish is the 2nd largest language in the world in terms of number of native speakers. There are more Spanish speakers in the United States than in its birthplace, Spain? Well, something similar happens with English: there are some some 330 million people in the US and only 55 in England (66 million in the whole of the UK). Read on to discover more about the Spanish language.
There are more than 400 million native speakers of Spanish, making it second only to Chinese in terms of the most spoken languages in the world. Hindi and English are just behind Spanish, with approximately 380 and 360 million native speakers (although Hindi is considered by some as a very dialectal language and does not include Urdu, written in Arabic script). Spanish is also the third most studied language in the world, after English and French. In addition to the 400 million native speakers, some 120 million people around the world speak Spanish as a second language, learn it or have some level of proficiency.
Countries where Spanish is an official language, in alphabetical order (Spanish is spoken in many countries, but it is an official language in the following countries below):
North America: Mexico
Central America and Caribbean: Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
Africa: Equatorial Guinea
20 countries have Spanish as their official language
Countries with large Spanish-speaking populations or where it is “optional and voluntary”
Europe: Andorra (spoken by 99% of the population, although Catalan is official), 86,000 people
Asia: Philippines, although it was official for 300 years and ruled from Mexico as part of the Spanish Empire, only some 689,000 people speak it nowadays (0,5% of the population)
Middle East: Israel (1,4 million Sephardi Spanish speakers – Sephardi is an old version of Castilian Spanish as spoken around the 14th and 15th century and kept in the diaspora after they where expelled from Spain). Up to 16% of the whole of the Jewish population is of Sephardi descent.
Central America and Caribbean: Belize (some 110,000 people speak Spanish), Aruba (100,000 Spanish speakers), Caribbean Netherlands (unknown), Curaçao (some 200,000 Spanish speakers)
North America: United States (some 52 million native Spanish speakers)
Africa: Morocco (some 52 million native Spanish speakers) and Western Sahara (half of the population, approximately
How many people speak Spanish in the United States?
In the United States, more than 52 million people speak Spanish as a first, native language (about 14% of the population). The United States is home to nearly 12 million bilingual Spanish speakers. This makes it the second-largest Spanish speaking country in the world (after Mexico), but some studies predicts it will be the largest and overtake Mexico with its own variant of Spanish by 2050.
Spanish was the native language of most land West of the Mississippi river, in the states bordering Mexico, as well as Colorado (meaning “red” in Spanish), Nevada (“snowed”), Florida (“flowered”) or Utah. Spanish is easily heard in most large cities in the US, even though they may not have been colonized by Spaniards. Boston, New York, Portland, Chicago, etc., all have large Spanish-speaking populations. Americans that don’t already speak Spanish are trying to learn it. Spanish is the most studied language in the U.S. In fact, 50% of American college students and more than 70% of K-12 students choose to learn Spanish — that’s significantly more than the 12% of college students and 15% of K-12 students who choose French, the second most studied language.