Spanish Speakers Around The World

Spanish Speakers - Copyright: Unsplash | CC0 Public Domain

Spanish Speakers Around The World

by Mar 20, 2020General, Language Learning, Spanish Articles, Spanish Vocabulary

So, are you interested in learning Spanish, or want to know how many countries with native Spanish speakers are there? That should be an easy task in today’s world.

All you need is some spare time and a lot of enthusiasm. You can learn Spanish from the comfort of your own home using online language platforms such as Live Lingua Spanish

Check out this list of places where Spanish is spoken throughout the world to check where you can travel and practice speaking Spanish or polish your great Spanish conversational skills!

Well, let’s talk about its origins before we spread out in search of all the countries where Spanish is spoken today.

Spanish comes out of the Latin language, same as many European languages such as Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian.

Let’s just say that the Vulgar Latin, spoken around 1200s, got mixed up with the Arabic, spoken by the Moors that conquered a nice chunk of Southern Spain at the time, and the Castilian language was born.

Spanish speakers from Spain would say that this is the original Spanish, however today there are so many different versions and dialects spread all over the world. 

How Many spanish speakers are there in the World?

Would you be surprised if we said that Spanish is only second to the Chinese in terms of native speakers around the globe?

There are approximately almost half a billion (around 460 million) native Spanish speakers in the world.

The bronze medal in this race is for the English language, standing strong with approximately 370 million native speakers on Earth.

We don’t have any statistics from other solar systems and galaxies yet.

Apart from the native Spanish speakers, there are a ton of people that know or are learning the Spanish language as their second or third language.

Spanish is the third language in school systems and universities all over the world with English and French being first and second choice.

Where Are Most of the Spanish Speakers Located Today?

Most of the native Spanish speakers countries are in South and Central America, also known as Latin America.

Although the language originated on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe, we all know how, when, and why it crossed the Atlantic Ocean and found its second and bigger home.

The language naturally evolved into many different forms and dialects throughout the continent. 

The differences between the Castilian Spanish and the Spanish of the “New World” are minor and subtle most of the time.

They span from differences in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

One can argue that the differences between these two types of Spanish are similar to the differences between British English and the one in the United States.

What Are the Numbers in Latin America?

More than half of Latin American natives speak Spanish. Roughly around 60% of them.

Others speak Portuguese, English, French and very little speak indigenous languages and dialects, such as the Mayan language.

Mexico leads the charts in Latin America (and in the whole world) with something above 120 million native Spanish speakers.

Some may say that the United States is now the world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to a study published by the prestigious Instituto Cervantes.

There are about 46 million Spanish speakers in Colombia and around 40 million in Argentina.

The rest of the official Spanish speaking countries in Latin America are:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Cuba
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Panama
  • Nicaragua
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Venezuela
  • Uruguay 

Spanish is not an official language but it is also spoken in the USA and Belize.  

What About spanish speakers countries in Europe?

Clearly, Spain is the place if you are looking to find the biggest population of native Spanish speakers in Europe.

However, worldwide, Spain is not even second on the list, but third behind Mexico and the United States with only 46 million native Spanish speakers.

Other countries in Europe where Spanish is not official but common are Andorra and Gibraltar.

Somewhat 2% of all of the Western Europe population also knows and speaks Spanish.

Spanish Speakers in Other Parts of the World 

There is a small number of people outside of Europe and the Americas that also speak Spanish.

One central African country named Equatorial Guinea has the Spanish language as one of its three official languages.

Spanish is also spoken in parts of Northern Africa, especially in Morocco mostly due to its proximity to Spain.

If we go East, Southeast Asia to be more precise, we will stumble upon a large population of Spanish speakers in the Philippines.

The reason behind a large number of Spanish speakers in the Philippines is simple.

The country was a Spanish colony from 1565 to 1898 and Spanish was the official language back then.

It remained a co-official language for almost a hundred years more alongside English.

Today around 3 million Filipinos speak a variation of Spanish called Chavacano.

As being one of the world’s most commonly spoken languages, learning and speaking Spanish, certainly is a great advantage in today’s world.

Moreover, most people find Spanish fun and not so difficult to be mastered after all.