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Spanish is a national language in 20 sovereign states and one dependent entity, totaling around 442 million people.
In these countries Spanish is the main or only language of communication of the vast majority of the population; official documents are written chiefly or solely in that language; and it is spoken and taught in schools as part of the official curriculum.
|Regulatory body||More information|
|Mexico||De facto||120,286,655||Academia Mexicana de la Lengua||Mexican Spanish|
|Spain||De jure||47,737,941||Real Academia Española||Peninsular Spanish|
|Colombia||De jure||46,245,297||Academia Colombiana de la Lengua||Colombian Spanish|
|Argentina||De facto||43,024,374||Academia Argentina de Letras||Rioplatense Spanish|
|Peru||De jure||30,147,935||Academia Peruana de la Lengua||Peruvian Coast Spanish|
|Venezuela||De jure||28,868,486||Academia Venezolana de la Lengua||Venezuelan Spanish|
|Chile||De facto||17,363,894||Academia Chilena de la Lengua||Chilean Spanish|
|Ecuador||De jure||15,654,411||Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua||Ecuadorian Spanish|
|Guatemala||De jure||14,647,083||Academia Guatemalteca de la Lengua||Guatemalan Spanish|
|Cuba||De jure||11,047,251||Academia Cubana de la Lengua||Cuban Spanish|
|Bolivia||De jure||10,631,486||Academia Boliviana de la Lengua||Bolivian Spanish|
|Dominican Republic||De jure||10,349,741||Academia Dominicana de la Lengua||Dominican Spanish|
|Honduras||De jure||8,598,561||Academia Hondureña de la Lengua||Honduran Spanish|
|Paraguay||De jure||6,703,860||Academia Paraguaya de la Lengua Española||Paraguayan Spanish|
|El Salvador||De jure||6,125,512||Academia Salvadoreña de la Lengua||Salvadoran Castilian|
|Nicaragua||De facto||5,848,641||Academia Nicaragüense de la Lengua||Nicaraguan Spanish|
|Costa Rica||De jure||4,755,234||Academia Costarricense de la Lengua||Costa Rican Spanish|
|Puerto Ricoa||De jure||3,620,897||Academia Puertorriqueña de la Lengua Española||Puerto Rican Spanish|
|Panama||De jure||3,608,431||Academia Panameña de la Lengua||Panamanian Spanish|
|Uruguay||De facto||3,332,972||Academia Nacional de Letras||Uruguayan Spanish|
|Equatorial Guinea||De jure||722,254||None||Equatoguinean Spanish|
a Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. where Spanish and English are the official languages and Spanish is the primary language.
In November 2008 a district court judge ruled that a sequence of Congressional actions have had the cumulative effect of changing Puerto Rico's status to incorporated. However, by April 2011 the issue had not yet made its way through the courts, and in January 2013 the U.S. government still referred to Puerto Rico as unincorporated.
Spanish is the most studied foreign language in the United States. With recent immigration United States is outnumbered by Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Colombia. Spanish is also de facto official in the U.S. state of New Mexico along with English and is increasingly used alongside English nationwide in business and politics. With over 50 million native speakers and second language speakers, the United States now has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico. In the United States, it is regulated by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language.
The Spanish language is not official but also holds a special status (in the education system, the media, and some official documents) in Andorra and Gibraltar. A similar situation exists in Belize, where Spanish is the first language of more than a third of the population.
The Spanish-based creole language of Papiamentoa is official in Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. Chavacano is spoken in the Philippines, and Palenquero is spoken in Colombia but are not official. Chamorro language is spoken in Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, were it is a co-official language. Judaeo-Spanish is spoken by Sephardi Jews.
|Country||Creole language||Estimated speakers||Year||Status|
|Bonaire and Curaçao||Papiamento||185,155||1981||Official.|
|Aruba||Papiamento||60,000||N/A||Official.|
|Guam||Chamorro||60,000||N/A||Official.|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Chamorro||60,000||N/A||Official.|
|Israel||Judaeo-Spanish||96,000||N/A||No Official.|
Spanish was an official language of the Philippines from the beginning of Spanish colonial rule in 1565 and through independence until a constitutional change in 1973. However, President Ferdinand Marcos had Spanish redesignated as an official language under Presidential Decree No. 155, dated 15 March 1973 and Spanish remained official until 1987, when it was re-designated as a voluntary and optional auxiliary language.
On 8 August 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced that the Philippine government asked help from the Spanish Government in her plan to reintroduce Spanish as a required subject in the Philippine school system. By 2012, the language was a compulsory subject at only a very select number of secondary schools. Despite government promotions of Spanish, less than 0.5% of the population are able to speak Spanish at least proficiently.
While Spanish is designated as an optional government language in the Philippines, its usage is very limited and not present in everyday life. In the country, Spanish is regulated by the Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language.