Spanish is a very useful language to learn. It’s spoken throughout the whole world, since there are 580 million native speakers. So if you’d like to visit one of the Spanish speaking countries in order to learn the language, we have listed all of them here for you to learn more about them.
If you ever wondered how many countries have Spanish as an official or primary language, we’ll tell you all about it in this post.
So how many Spanish speaking countries are there?
There are a total of 20 Spanish speaking countries. The largest Spanish speaking countries are Colombia, Mexico, and Spain. There are a total of 580 million speakers of Spanish throughout the world. Spanish is also spoken in Puerto Rico, a territory of the USA.
Spanish is the second language in the world by number of native speakers, with around 471 million natives.
It’s one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and FIFA, among other important organizations.
It’s also the official or co-official language in:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Puerto Rico
Here are some curiosities about each of the countries:
Argentina is the largest Spanish speaking country by land extension, but not by native speakers. It has a population of around 43 million inhabitants.
Argentina speaks a variety of Spanish called español rioplatense which Uruguay also speaks.
Bolivia is a multicultural country that along with Spanish, recognizes other 36 official languages.
Spanish is still the most spoken official language, though. Bolivians speak a variant of Spanish called español boliviano.
Chileans speak a variant called español chileno, and Spanish is the only official language in the country. It has around 18 million inhabitants.
Chile is also the southernmost country in the world, alongside Argentina.
In Colombia, 99% of the around 50 million inhabitants speak Spanish.
The country has also a variety of Amerindian and Creole languages. English is also spoken in the San Andrés island.
Costa Rica has Spanish as a main language, although others such as Bribri and Patois are recognised regionally, and still spoken.
Around 5.5 million people live in Costa Rica.
Cuba is the largest Spanish speaking island country, with 11 million inhabitants.
Cubans speak a variant called español cubano, from español caribeño. Many inhabitants of Cuba also speak Haitian Creole.
Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, although their neighbours speak French and Dominicans speak español dominicano, a variant of Caribbean Spanish.
Dominican Republic has around 10 million inhabitants.
Ecuador has 17.8 million inhabitants, and Spanish is a co-official language alongside kichua and shuar.
The Spanish variant spoken in Ecuador is español ecuatoriano.
El Salvador is a small country in Central America where virtually everyone speaks Spanish, from 6.8 million inhabitants.
A very small amount of people speak Nawat, an indigenous language in El Salvador.
Equatorial Guinea is the only country in Africa with Spanish as a co-official language, alongside French and Portuguese.
Spanish is spoken by around 68% of the population and the variant is called Equatoguinean Spanish.
Guatemala borders Mexico and its culture is influenced by this country and also Spanish culture.
Guatemala has 17.1 million inhabitants and Spanish is the only official language, although is spoken alongside other 20 mayan native languages.
In Honduras, the vast majority of the 10 million inhabitants has Spanish as a first language.
Honduras also has a minority of English speaking communities in some islands such as the one we see in the picture:
Mexico is the largest Spanish speaking country by population size, with almost 129 million inhabitants.
Nonetheless, 7% of the population speaks an indigenous language in Mexico. The most popular are náhuatl and peninsular mayan.
Nicaragua, a Central American country with 6.5 million inhabitants, has Spanish as a main language.
Many people in Nicaragua also speak English and other languages such as Miskito.
In Panama, 93% of the 4.27 million inhabitants speak Spanish as a first language.
Around 14% of Panamanians speak English in their daily lives too.
Paraguay is a multicultural country in where Spanish and guaraní are spoken bilingually.
Although Spanish is used in the Paraguayan government, media and business, there are more native guaraní than Spanish speakers, although everyone learns Spanish in education.
Peru has Spanish as a co-official language alongside quechua, aymara and other indigenous languages.
Spanish is spoken natively by 82.6% of the population in Peru, and it’s used widely in mainstream situations.
Spain is the country where the language was first originated.
Spanish is the first language for most of the 47.4 million natives, although other languages such as catalan, gallego and euskara are also present in the country.
Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, with 3.5 million inhabitants.
Uruguayans share the español rioplatense variant with Argentina, and some people also speak Uruguayan Portuguese.
Venezuela is a large country in South America, with around 28.5 million inhabitants.
Almost everyone speaks Spanish as a first language in Venezuela, and the constitution recognizes other thirty indigenous languages, such as Wayuu and Warao.
Puerto Rico, a territory of the USA, uses Spanish as a primary language although English is also an oficial one.
Spanish is spoken as a first language in Puerto Rico by 95% of the population of 3.3 million, while English is used in a daily basis by 10% of the people.