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 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 curricula and taught in local learning institutions.
1. Mexico - 120.286 million users
Mexican Spanish is the most common language in 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. Spanish exists in several variations in this country which are defined by the social and cultural practices in the region where they are found and include the eastern northern variant, the western northern variant, the peninsular northern variant, and 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.
2. Colombia - 48.4 million users
Colombia has one of the largest Spanish-speaking populations 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 on 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.
3. Spain - 47.73 million users
Being the country where the language originated and the culprit of its global distribution, Spain has one of the highest numbers of Spanish speakers in the world at 47.73 million. Soanish 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.
4. 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.