Spanish Speaking Countries

The Spanish language is spoken as a first language by an estimated 320 to 400 million people making it the second-most spoken language in the world following Chinese. It is the second-most spoken language in the U.S. and a very popular language to study in U.S. schools. World travellers find Spanish a very useful language as it gives them access to a large number of countries and an enourmous geographic area. Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

The 21 Spanish Speaking Countries of the World

= CIA World Factbook,   = National Geographic,   = NationMaster,   = Wikipedia,
= Lonely Planet,   = Wolfram Alpha,   = If It Were My Home

Argentina

Bolivia

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Cuba

Ecuador

El Salvador

España

Guatemala

Honduras

México

Nicaragua

Panamá

Paraguay

Perú

Puerto Rico

La República Dominicana

Uruguay

Venezuela

Los Estados Unidos

The United States

Should the U.S. be considered a Spanish speaking country? While English is the most widely spoken, the U.S. has no official language. The number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. makes it the 5th largest Spanish speaking country in the world (after Mexico, Columbia, Spain and Argentina). Spanish is widely spoken along the southern U.S. border and in big cities such as Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, & New York.

California's constitution specifies that all official documents be printed in both Spanish and English. New Mexico, the state with the highest percentage of Spanish Speakers, is also extremely bilingual.

Other Countries

In addition to the 21 countries listed above you will also find Spanish widely spoken and understood in Andorra, a tiny country nestled between Spain and France.

Many residents of the British territory of Gibraltar located at the southern tip of Spain speak Spanish as well as English because of its proximity to Spain.

Spanish is spoken in Equatorial Guinea (formerly Spanish Guinea), one of the smallest countries in Africa, due to its colonization by Spain.

Spanish is also spoken in the sparsely populated Western Sahara, a disputed territory and former Spanish colony in North Africa.

Although English is the official language of Belize (formerly British Honduras), its location in Central America makes Spanish an important language for its citizens.

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil (the only such country in Latin America) but Spanish can be understood to some degree by many Brazilians living near its borders.

Because Spain ruled the Philippines for three centuries, the country retains many Hispanic characteristics. The official language, Filipino, has absorbed a great deal of Spanish.


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