There are now more Spanish Speakers in U.S. than in Spain

Sunday, July 05, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The United States now has more Spanish-speaking people than Spain.


There are nearly 53 million Spanish speakers in the United States, according to a report (pdf, in Spanish) by Instituto Cervantes, which is affiliated with the Spanish government. The 53 million includes 41 million native Spanish speakers and nearly 12 million with limited proficiency.


The total population of Spain is 46.8 million.


The U.S. Spanish-speaking population is now second in the world, behind only Mexico, which has 121 million people. Between the United States and Spain is Colombia, with 48 million Spanish speakers.


Worldwide, there are 559 million Spanish speakers, including 470 million native speakers. The report noted that the percentage of native Spanish speakers is growing, while the proportion of native English and Mandarin speakers has fallen.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Chart: There Are More Spanish Speakers in the U.S. Than in Spain (by Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post)

El Espanol: Ena Lengua Viva (Instituto Cervantes) (pdf)


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