Sovereign states where Spanish is a de facto official language. 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; yet, it is not established by legislation as an official language.
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.
Population of the Spanish speaking countries (+ Puerto Rico) in 2011
Former official language
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 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, PresidentGloria 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. Furthermore, despite government promotions of Spanish, less than 0.5% of the population are able to speak Spanish at least proficiently.
Commonly used language
Spanish is the most studied foreign language in the United States and many important public documents are published in both English and Spanish. 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. 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. Spanish is used for international commerce in Brazil due to being surrounded mostly by Spanish-speaking countries and Spanish is widely taught as a foreign language. A similar situation exists in Belize, where Spanish is the first language of almost half of the population.
^Article XIV, Sec 7: For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English. The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein. Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis.