Society

Countries Where Spanish Is An Official Language

Spanish is the official language of many countries across the world.

Spanish is one of the most widely used languages in the world and is the majority language in 21 countries where it is used by a global population of 440 million people. In most of the Spanish-speaking countries, the language has been established by law as the national language.

In Spanish-speaking countries, the language is used as the official language in governmental offices where legal and official documents are written in the language. In these countries, Spanish is found in learning curriculums and taught in local learning institutions.

Mexico (120.286 million users)

Mexican Spanish is the most common language is Mexico with over 123.3 million users all over the country. Mexican Spanish is the official language in Mexico where it has de facto status. The language was introduced in Mexico by Spanish settlers in the 16th century. The language exists in several variations which are defined by the social and cultural practices in the parts of the country where they are found and include the eastern northern variant, the western northern variant, the peninsular northern variant, the western variant. There are also the lowlands variant, the central variant, the coastal variant, the central southern variant, the eastern peninsular variant, and the southeastern variant. The most recognizable Mexican Spanish variant is the one used in the central part of the country, in and around Mexico City, the nation’s capital. The reason why this variant is most identifiable is due to its use in mass communication media such as soap operas which have international appeal.

Colombia (48.4 million users)

Colombia has one of the largest Spanish-speaking population of any country with over 48.4 million people using the language. The type of Spanish language used in Colombia is known as Colombian Spanish, a term which is more geographical based than linguistically based. Colombian Spanish is the official language in Colombia as prescribed by law and its use is regulated by the Academia Colombiana de la Lengua. Colombian Spanish exists in numerous dialects across the country. The Santanderean dialect is commonly used in the north-eastern part of the country. The Pacific dialect is prevalent in the country’s Pacific coast. Other dialects include the Llanero dialect, the Opita dialect, the Pastuso dialect, the Valluno dialect, the Island dialect, the Caribbean dialect and the Bogota dialect.

Spain (47.73 million users)

Being the country which founded the language and key in its global distribution, Spain has one of the highest numbers of Spanish users in the world with 47.73 million users. Spanish is the official language used in the country as prescribed by the Spanish Constitution. The varieties of the language in existence in Spain are collectively referred to as Iberian Spanish or Peninsular Spanish or European Spanish. The most distinctive characteristic of Iberian Spanish is its use of the pronoun “vosotros.” The use of Iberian Spanish in Spain is regulated by the Real Academia Espanola, a government institution.

Argentina (43.02 million users)

Argentina has the second-largest population of Spanish speakers in South America with over 43 million users. Rioplatense Spanish (or Castellano rioplatense) is the term used to describe the Spanish dialect used in Argentina which is also used in Uruguay, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. The language was introduced to Argentina by Spaniards during the Spanish colonization of South America.


Countries Where Spanish Is An Official Language

RankCountry/TerritoryStatusPopulation (2014)
1 MexicoDe facto120,286,655
2 ColombiaDe jure48,400,388
3 SpainDe jure47,737,941
4 ArgentinaDe facto43,024,374
5 PeruDe jure30,147,935
6 VenezuelaDe jure28,868,486
7 ChileDe facto17,363,894
8 EcuadorDe jure15,654,411
9 GuatemalaDe jure14,647,083
10 CubaDe jure11,047,251
11 BoliviaDe jure10,631,486
12 Dominican RepublicDe jure10,349,741
13 HondurasDe jure8,598,561
14 ParaguayDe jure6,703,860
15 El SalvadorDe jure6,125,512
16 NicaraguaDe facto5,848,641
17 Costa RicaDe jure4,755,234
18 Puerto RicoDe jure3,620,897
19 PanamaDe jure3,608,431
20 UruguayDe facto3,332,972
21 Equatorial GuineaDe jure1,722,254
22Total541,302,353

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