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,
= Lonely Planet,
= Wolfram Alpha,
= If It Were My Home
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 2nd largest Spanish speaking
country in the world (after Mexico). Spanish is
widely spoken along the border states of the southern U.S. and in big cities such as Chicago,
Miami, & New York.
constitution specifies that all official documents be printed in both Spanish
and English. New Mexico, the state with the highest percentage of Spanish speakers (47%),
is also extremely bilingual.
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.
English is the official language of Belize (formerly British Honduras),
its location in Central America makes Spanish an important language for its citizens.
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
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.