The Instituto Cervantes has published its annual report “Spanish: a living language”.  This year the publication coincides with the celebration of E Day.

In order to calculate the number of Spanish speaking people, the Instituto Cervantes uses the official census figures from the last fourteen years; the official estimates of each country´s Institute for Statisitics and the last four reports from the United Nations’ Institute for Statistics.

The Instituto Cervantes calculates that there are approximately 559,000,000 Spanish speakers.  This figure includes native Spanish speakers, those with a limited proficiency and students of Spanish as a Foreign Language.

Following are some of the most interesting figures from the report:

  • Spanish is the second most-widely spoken mother tongue in the world after Mandarin.  It is also the second most-widely spoken language according to the previously mentioned criteria.
  • In 2030, Spanish speakers will constitute 7.5% of the world´s population.  In four generations time, this will become 10% of the world´s population.
  • Spanish is the mother tongue of 470,000,000 people (6.7% of the world´s population).
  • There are currently more than 21,000,000 people studying Spanish as a Foreign Language, one and a half million more than in 2014.
  • In Europe, the number of Spanish students has increased most in France, Italy, Germany and Ireland.
  • The United States, Brazil and France head the list for the highest total number of Spanish students.
  • More than 41,000,000 people in the United States have a native command of Spanish although the Hispanic population is approximately 53,000,000.
  • The increase in the number of students studying Spanish in sub-Sarahan Africa is also noteworthy.  The greatest number of students are to be found in Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gabon and Ecuatorial Guinea.

After looking at these facts, we advise our readers to take a look at the report where they are certain to find relevant information. Spanish: a living language – 2015 Report.