The Spanish language is from the Indo-European family of languages. More than one-third of the world population speak this language. The other languages in the Indo-European family of languages include German, French, English. Moreover, it includes Scandinavian and Slavic languages. The Spanish language is further categorized in the group of Romance languages that includes Catalan, Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, and French. The people who speak Portuguese and Italian can easily communicate with Spanish speakers. Spanish is originated in the Iberian Peninsula which is the southwest corner of Europe and at present, it is Portugal and Spain. Spanish is the most demanding and popular language in the world. You must be inquisitive to know how many people speak Spanish language. But before diving into this topic, first, you should get historical insights into this beautiful language.

History of Spanish Language

The Spanish language has a rich and complicated history of 1500 plus years. This language has seen the rise and fall of great empires of the world. Therefore, this language is a symbol of cultural identity.

The Spanish dialect which originated in the Iberian Peninsula is called Vulgar Latin. This dialect is different from classical Latin used in Literature. The most dominant Spanish dialect used in Europe is Castellano or Castilian Spanish.

In the era of the Roman Empire, the Latin language was the official language of the Peninsula but with time it emerged with the local languages like Celts and Iberians to make it more unique.

The Visigoths maintained this uniqueness. Visigoths were a Germanic group that conquered the areas of the peninsula after the death of the Roman Empire in the 4th century. They are greatly influenced by the Germans and they impact the peninsula to the extent that Vulgar Latin was developed in the 5th century but in isolation. Linguists and historians considered that point the beginning of the Spanish language.

After the Visigoths, Muslim Moorish came. They invented the 4000 Spanish words from Arabic with the cultural nuance. Moreover, this impact is also shown in the art, design, and architecture of Spain. The words taken from Arabic have lost their original pronunciation. The important thing to note is that Arabic has not influenced Spanish phonetics.


The Reconquista period which is between 711 and 1492, depicts the independence of Spain from the Moors in the state of Castile. It resulted in the formation of Castilian Spanish. Castilian Spanish got recognition by the narrative poems in which heroes of Castilian are discussed. These poems are even recited in those areas that don’t speak this dialect.

During the 13th century, King Alfonso collected documents on different subjects like law, astronomy, and history. Moreover, it collected the classical literature Spanish translation. King Alfonso X was of the view that all the work in the language should be preserved in Castilian Spanish to avoid the influence of other languages. This thing marketed the Castilian Spanish. Moreover, it has formed a basis for spreading written Castilian Spanish in Reconquista.

The monarchs in the kingdom like Ferdinand, Isabella, and Castile are very influential in Spanish history. Ferdinand was a king of Aragon whereas Isabella was the queen of Castile. Both of these kingdoms did not merge. However, scholars confirmed that the alliance of Spain is because of the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella.

Under this rule, Castilian Spanish became the official language of all the invaded territories. They supported the literary work of the art of the Castilian language. Moreover, it was the first effort to define the grammar of the European Language.

How Many People Speak Spanish in the World?

Spanish is one of the top five most spoken languages in the world. Therefore, it is one of the thriving languages used in politics, businesses, tourism, and many other fields.

The Spanish language is native to 450 million people. Therefore, it is ranked second after Chinese (in terms of the number of Spanish speakers) around the world. To your surprise, English, which is a predominant language of the business comes after Spanish. Among the whopping 450 million speakers, 75 million people speak Spanish as a second language.

In this era of digitalization, Spanish is the third most-used language on the internet. 8.1% of internet users communicate in the Spanish language. Because of literary work in the Spanish language, it is called the language of Cervantes. It has been surveyed that Spanish is the most popular language among students and around 22 million people from approximately 110 countries are choosing the Spanish language to learn.

How Many People Speak Spanish in Latin America?

The Spanish language was brought by Spanish colonization in Latin America in 1942. At present, Latin America is a group of countries that includes Portuguese, French, and Spanish colonization and they prefer to speak a Latin-based language. Spanish colonization in Latin America and other parts of the world has made Spanish an official language of 20 countries.

Spanish people fought for their independence in the 18th century and even at that time, Spanish was the official language. Today, the new Latin Americans government encourages the use of Spanish with the help of the Amerindian majority. Moreover, they want to promote unity.

In Latin America, Mexico is the largest Spanish speaking population in the world. Approximately 121 million people speak Spanish in Mexico. Besides, it is the official language of Mexico. There are many Spanish speaking countries in central and south America. Out of these countries, Colombia has 46 million native speakers whereas Argentina has 41 million Spanish speakers.

Moreover, around 60% of the Latin American population speaks Spanish. The rest of the population speak Portuguese and a small percentage of people speak English, French and other languages.

How Many People Speak Spanish in the United States?

The Spanish colonization was first established in the United States by Spain and Florida. The people from different states of America speak the Spanish language widely. Therefore, the government of Mexico and Spain control this language. Although the southwestern states have changed their official language to English, Spanish is still spoken by a large number of populations.

Research conducted by Rosino Lozano who is the author of a book named The History of Spanish in the United States states that change of the official language from Spanish to another language will affect the states of southwest America in political situations. Moreover, these countries cannot speak both languages because of political power.

Language is a complicated topic in the USA and is still debatable. Even though English is still the official language in the United States but the government still accepts business documents in the Spanish language in many states, especially in California and New Mexico. Moreover, the Spanish is second most taught language in the United States. Also, Spanish is the official language of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Approximately, more than 43 million people speak Spanish as a first language in the USA and this number is still growing. Moreover, the United States is native to 12 million bilingual Spanish speakers. Therefore, it is the second-largest Spanish speaking country in the world after Mexico. It is predicted that the United States will take a lead by the year 2050.

Americans who can’t speak Spanish are trying to learn this language. Therefore, it is the most learned and studied language in the US. According to the statistics, 50% of American college students and 70% of K-12 students prefer to learn the Spanish language. This number is higher than the number of students that are learning French in the US.

How Many People Speak Spanish in Europe

The origin of Spanish in Spain. Therefore, it is the hub of the Spanish language in Europe. You will be amazed to know that despite being a hub it is native to 46 million Spanish speakers that makes it second to the United States. Therefore, it is the third-largest Spanish speaking country.

Apart from Spain, the people of Gibraltar and Andorra also speak the language in spanish but it is not their official language. English and Catalan are their official language. Switzerland is another European country where people speak Spanish widely. It is native to approximately 150,000 people.

Spanish is also the important language of the European Union. People from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and German also speak the Spanish language.

Countries with the Most Spanish Speakers

When we look around, we will find many Spanish speaking countries around the world. Spanish is the official language of these 20 countries:

  • Venezuela
  • Uruguay
  • Spain
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Mexico
  • Honduras
  • Guatemala
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • El Salvador
  • Ecuador
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Cuba
  • Colombia
  • Chile
  • Bolivia
  • Argentina
  • Costa Rica

Let’s have a look at the top 5 most Spanish Speaking countries

  • Mexico – 123.5 million
  • The United States – 57.9 million
  • Colombia – 49.2 million
  • Spain – 46.5 million
  • Argentina – 44 million

The number of Spanish speakers includes both native and non-native speakers. The interesting thing to note is that the US is next to Mexico. Although Spanish is not its official language.

Spanish Speakers in the Rest of the World

No doubt that the majority of Spanish speakers are residing in America and Europe, but we cannot ignore the Spanish speakers that are residing in other parts of the world. To your surprise, the Philippines is a country in which Spanish has been the official language since the 16th century.

This is because of the reason that the Spanish ruled the Philippines from 1565-1898. Even when the war broke between the Americans and Spanish, it remained the co-official language till 1987. At present, 3 million people speak Spanish and Chavacano in the Philippines.

People of Africa, Equatorial Guinea also speak the Spanish language. 68% of its population speaks Spanish. The people of Morocco also speak Spanish because of its proximity to Spain. Additionally, many small communities in Angola and South Sudan also speak Spanish.

Spanish Language Presence on Social Media

Spanish language used on social media depicts how many people are using this language. It is one of the most used languages on digital platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. At present, 28.03 million Hispanics are using Facebook. Out of these, 31% that is 8.7 million people prefer Spanish and they want to become a fan of Spanish content.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. By looking at the number of Spanish users in the digital world, LinkedIn has launched the Spanish version of their website. Thus, Spanish-speaking users are enjoying the benefits of professional networking in their language.

When we talk about Twitter, Spanish shows the top figures of its users. Moreover, it ranks as the second most used language in many English speaking countries like London and New York. The research conducted by the Cervantes Institute shows that in New York, not only the Hispanic community speaks the Spanish language but people from different ethnic groups also speak Spanish.

Why Learn the Spanish Language

Due to the ever-increasing demand for the Spanish language, people are opting to learn the language of Cervantes. With the help of the Spanish language, you can discover the rich heritage by listening to and reading Spanish songs, exploring Spanish films and novels. Spanish is the fourth language that has won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Spanish speaking countries have lucrative business opportunities. Therefore, people learn the Spanish language to get a job in top-notch companies of the world. Due to this reason, the Latin American market has enhanced its purchasing power to $1.5 trillion. This shows how important are Spanish speakers to global companies.

Wrapping Up

You can have an idea of the significance of the Spanish language by looking at the numbers of Spanish speakers. So, are you ready to learn the Spanish language?. There are different ways to learn it. For example, if you have time, you can get enrolled in Spanish speaking classes or if your schedule is very busy, you take the assistance of podcasts and learn from the internet to extend the list of people who speak the Spanish language.


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