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Spanish is a national language in 20 sovereign states and one dependent entity, totaling around 423 million people.
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.
|Mexico||De facto||113,724,226||Mexican Spanish|
|Spain||De jure||46,754,784||Peninsular Spanish|
|Colombia||De jure||44,725,543||Colombian Spanish|
|Argentina||De facto||41,769,726||Rioplatense Spanish|
|Peru||De jure||29,248,943||Peruvian Coast Spanish|
|Venezuela||De jure||27,635,743||Venezuelan Spanish|
|Ecuador||De jure||19,997,789||Ecuadorian Spanish|
|Chile||De facto||16,888,760||Chilean Spanish|
|Guatemala||De jure||13,824,463||Guatemalan Spanish|
|Cuba||De jure||11,087,330||Cuban Spanish|
|Bolivia||De jure||10,118,683||Languages of Bolivia|
|Dominican Republic||De facto||9,956,648||Dominican Spanish|
|Honduras||De jure||8,143,564||Honduran Spanish|
|Paraguay||De jure||6,459,058||Paraguayan Spanish|
|El Salvador||De jure||6,071,774||Salvadoran Castilian|
|Nicaragua||De facto||5,666,301||Nicaraguan Spanish|
|Costa Rica||De jure||4,576,562||Costa Rican Spanish|
|Puerto Ricoa||De jure||3,989,133||Puerto Rican Spanish|
|Panama||De jure||3,460,462||Panamanian Spanish|
|Uruguay||De facto||3,308,535||Uruguayan Spanish|
|Equatorial Guinea||De jure||1,622,000||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 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. 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.
|Country||Creole language||Estimated speakers||Year||Status|
|Bonaire and Curaçao||Papiamento||185,155||1981||Official.|
|Aruba||Papiamento||60,000||N/A||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 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. Furthermore, despite government promotions of Spanish, less than 0.5% of the population are able to speak Spanish at least proficiently.