U.S. 2nd Largest Spanish-Speaking Country

The U.S. boasts the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico, according to a recent study by Instituto Cervantes. That's more Spanish speakers than there are in the whole of Spain.

The report claims there are 41 million native speakers and 11 million bilingual Spanish speakers -- largely comprised of the children of Spanish-speaking immigrants -- now living in America.

Among the states with the highest concentrations of Spanish speakers are New Mexico (47 percent), California (38 percent), and Arizona (30 percent). In New York, 18 percent of the population speaks Spanish. An estimated 559 million people speak Spanish worldwide, according to the study.

The report cited the U.S. Census, which estimates there will be 138 million Spanish speakers by 2050, which would make the U.S. the largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world.

The Instituto Cervantes was founded in 1991 to promote the Spanish language worldwide and estimates there are 21 million people currently learning Spanish, 7.8 million of whom live in the U.S. The Hispanic population in the U.S. is 53 million.

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