Spanish Information


Hispanophone (hispanohablantes or hispanofonía in Spanish) denotes Spanish language speakers and the Spanish-speaking world. The word derives from the Latin political name of the Iberian Peninsula, Hispania, which comprised basically the territory of the modern states of Spain and Portugal.

Hispanophones are estimated at between 450 and 500 million globally, making Spanish the second most spoken language in terms of native speakers. Around 360 million live in Hispanic America and 40 million in Spain. There are a large number of Spanish speakers in the United States, comprising more than 34 million. There are also smaller Hispanophone groups in Canada, northern Morocco, Equatorial Guinea, Western Sahara the Philippines and Brazil as well as in many other places around the world, particularly large cities in Western Europe, and Australia.

List of countries with Spanish-speaking populations

See also: List of countries where Spanish is an official language
Rank↓ Country/territory/entity↓ Population↓ Source↓ Secondary also↓ Area (km)↓ Area (mi)↓
1  Mexico 111,211,789 CIA 2009 106,770,268 1,970,552 761,606
2  Spain 46,951,532 Official INE estimate 46,184,857 504,030 195,364
3  Colombia 45,567,961 Official Colombian Population clock 44,937,600 1,141,748 440,831
4  Argentina 40,518,951 Official INDEC estimate 40,275,837 2,766,880 1,068,302
5  United States 35,468,501 U.S. Census Bureau[6] 50,000,000
6  Peru 29,461,933 Official INEI estimate 25,514,034 1,285,216 496,225
7  Venezuela 28,755,000 Official Venezuelan Population clock 28,296,320 916,445 353,841
8  Chile 17,094,270 Official INE projection 16,974,610 756,950 292,183
9  Ecuador 14,170,000 Official Ecuador Population clock 13,851,720 283,561 109,415
10  Guatemala 11,204,000 UN 2009 estimate  
11  Cuba 11,268,000 UN 2009 estimate  
12  Bolivia 10,426,154 Official INE projection (2010)  
13  Dominican Republic 10,090,000 UN 2009 estimate  
14  Honduras 7,876,197 Official INE projection (2010)  
15  El Salvador 6,857,000 UN estimate  
16  Paraguay 6,127,000 UN estimate  
17  Nicaragua 5,603,000 UN estimate  
18  Costa Rica 4,468,000 UN estimate  
19  Puerto Rico 3,991,000 UN estimate  
20  Panama 3,343,000 UN estimate  
21  Uruguay 3,340,000 UN estimate  
22  Equatorial Guinea 507,000 UN estimate  

Spanish as an Official or National Language

Map highlighting countries where Spanish is an official language, or a de facto official language. 

Official and national language

Sovereign states where Spanish is an official language, by lawa.

Country Population (2009)[1]
Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia[2] 45,644,023
Flag of Spain.svg Spain[3] 40,525,002
Flag of Peru.svg Peru[4] 29,546,963
Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela[5] 26,814,843
Flag of Ecuador.svg Ecuador[6] 14,573,101
Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala[7] 13,276,517
Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba[8] 11,451,652
Flag of Bolivia.svg Bolivia[9] 9,775,246
Flag of Honduras.svg Honduras[10] 7,792,854
Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador[11] 7,185,218
Flag of Paraguay.svg Paraguay[12] 6,995,655
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Costa Rica[13] 4,253,877
Flag of Panama.svg Panama[14] 3,360,474
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg Equatorial Guinea[15] 633,441

Dependent entities where Spanish is an official language, by law.

Country Population (2010)
Puerto Rico Puerto Ricob [16] 3,725,789[17]

De facto official and national language

Sovereign states where Spanish is a de facto official language,
although it has not been legally granted an official status.

Country Population (2009)[1]
Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico[18] 111,211,789
Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina[19] 40,913,584
Flag of Chile.svg Chile[20] 16,601,707
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg Dominican Republic[21] 9,650,054
Flag of Nicaragua.svg Nicaragua[22] 5,891,199
Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay[23] 3,494,382

Other areas where Spanish is the de facto language.

Country Population (2009)
Argentine Antarctica Argentine Antarcticac [19] 190[24]
Antártica Chilena Province Chilean Antarcticad [20] 165[citation needed]

a Spanish was removed as an official language of the Philippines in 1973 and was removed from being a compulsory subject in 1987; on 8 August 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced that the Philippine government asked help from the Spanish Government in her plan to reintroduce the Spanish as a required subject in the Philippine school system. The Constitution of the Philippines states that “Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis” and that the Constitution itself will be translated into Spanish.
b Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. where Spanish and English are the official languages and Spanish is the primary language.
c Argentinean territorial claim in Antarctica, suspended by the 1961 Antarctic Treaty.
d Chilean territorial claim in Antarctica, suspended by the 1961 Antarctic Treaty


Commonly used language

Spanish language is not official but has a special status in several countries (in the education system, the media, and some official documents): Andorra, Gibraltar, and Western Sahara.  Spanish is used for international commerce in Brazil due to being surrounded mostly by Spanish-speaking countries and Spanish is widely taught as a foreign language. 

Additionally, Spanish is by far the most studied foreign language in the United States.


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