Spanish in Latin America

Spanish (espaƱol), also called Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in Castile, a region in Spain. Approximately 406 million people worldwide speak Spanish as a native language.

  • With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world's No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language. It is slightly ahead of English (328 million) but far behind Chinese (1.2 billion).
  • Spanish is one of the world's most phonetic languages. If you know how a word is spelled, you can almost always know how it is pronounced.
  • Spanish and English share much of their vocabulary through cognates, as both languages derive many of their words from Latin and Arabic.

Spanish in Latin America in 2017
Country Main Language Population
Mexico Mexico Spanish 113.7 Million
Colombia Colombia Spanish 44.7 Million
Argentina Argentina Spanish 41.7 Million
Peru Peru Spanish 29.3 Million
Venezuela Venezuela Spanish 27.6 Million
Chile Chile Spanish 16.9 Million
Ecuador Ecuador Spanish 15.0 Million
Guatemala Guatemala Spanish 13.8 Million