Did you know that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world? That's right: more than 427 million people have Spanish as their native language (according to Instituto Cervantes, an estimated 470 million speak Spanish with native competence), and around 548 million use it as a first or second language. That's a whole lot of people! A reason why it is also one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union.
Only surpassed by Chinese by number of native speakers, Spanish is becoming more and more popular amongst language students. It's the third most learned language in the world, and the first in the United States (in fact, some studies say that by 2050 the US could have more Spanish speakers than any other country). Most Spanish speakers live in the west hemisphere (Europe, Central and Latin America, and Africa). With 106 million speakers, who use Spanish either as a first or second language, Mexico is the country with the largest Spanish-speaking population. Followed by Colombia (48 million speakers), USA and Spain (both with approximately 45 million speakers) and Argentina (42 million).
Spanish is the official language of 23 countries and territories: Argentina, Bolivia (together with Quechua and Aymara), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea (besides French), Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay (together with Guarani), Puerto Rico, Peru (besides Quechua and Aymara), Dominican Republic, West Sahara (together with Arab), Spain (alongside Catalan, Basque and Galizian), Uruguay and Venezuela.
Spanish is also broadly spoken in the following countries: Andorra, Belize (English is the official language, but due to historical and geographical reasons Spanish plays a big role in daily life), Brazil (as a study language), Philippines (almost in disuse), Gibraltar, Israel and Morocco (Ladin variety), United States (where Spanish is the second most widely spoken language) and Trinidad and Tobago (again, historical and geographical reasons).
So what do you say? Are you willing to learn the second most spoken language in the world?