A few days ago, Instituto Cervantes published their annual report containing very interesting figures about the Spanish language. This statement is called “El espanol: Una lengua viva” (in English, “Spanish: A living language”). Let’s discover how our beautiful language is doing nowadays in numbers!
1. Over 595 million people speak Spanish.
This figure involves both native speakers and learners.
2. Nearly 497 million people have Spanish as their mother tongue.
The five most populated Spanish-speaking countries are Mexico (132. 8 M.); Colombia (50. 8 M.); Spain (47. 4 M.); Argentina (45. 2 M.) and Peru (33. 1 M.) However, this might change in the near future!
3. Spanish is the second language most spoken in the world
You might not believe this, but Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, by the number of native speakers, behind only Mandarin Chinese. This means that there are more people who speak Spanish as their first language than those whose mother tongue is English!
4. It’s the 3rd most used language on the Internet
As of January 2023, Spanish (4,5 %) is the third most used language on the Internet, after English (57.7%) and Russian (5.3%). Let’s focus on some of the biggest platforms of the World Wide Web:
For instance, on YouTube Spanish is the second most used language on the videos platform. Of the top 250 YouTube channels, 66% of the shared content is in English, and Spanish follows with 15%. Spanish series and films didn’t go unnoticed on big platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime either!
Also, when it comes to social media, such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, the Spanish language still gets the silver medal!
5. More than 24 million people study Spanish as a foreign language
More than 24 million people study Spanish as a second language, which is two more million than in 2020, and the double than in 2010! This is definitely one of the most interesting figures about the Spanish language.
6. In 2060, the United States will be the second largest country where Spanish is spoken.
Interestingly enough, the US currently has 57.6 million Spanish speakers. Isn’t it crazy to acknowledge that they have more Spanish speakers than Spain (47.4 million)!? The reason why the United States does not appear as a Spanish-speaking country is because their official language is English.
Linguists have predicted that, by 2060, the North American country will be the second largest Spanish-speaking nation after Mexico.
In fact, Spanish has been spoken in what is now the United States since the 15th century. Spanish colonisers settled in areas that would later become Florida, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and California, among other states. The Spanish left behind a rich Hispanic legacy in the North America, such as the peculiar lifestyle in the Wild West.
7. Spanish is the 3rd most used language in the United Nations, and the 2nd in the European Union.
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the six official languages of the United Nations. English, French and Spanish are currently the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat and used in day-to-day professional exchanges.
8. More than 63 million tourists visited Spain last year.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is a specialised agency that promotes the responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. Interestingly, their headquarters are located in Madrid, Spain. But, of course, the Spanish capital wasn’t chosen randomly! Spain is, after France, the most visited country in the world.
The most visited Spanish cities were: Barcelona, Madrid and Palma de Mallorca.
That’s all, amigos! I hope you found interesting these facts about the beautiful Spanish language! You can download some infographics about this topic here.
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