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Why Choose Spanish as Your New Foreign Language?

The World Speaking Spanish Spanish Speaking Countries

  • At the end of the 19th century, 60 million people were Spanish speakers. Today, nearly 500 million people across the world speak Spanish!
  • Spanish is the mother tongue of approximately 350 million people in 21 countries (Mexico: 95 million, Spain: 40 million, Argentina: 38 million, Colombia: 35 million…).
  • The list of countries where Spanish is either the primary language or the largest secondary language covers 28 different places – Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.

Spanish Education

  • Over the past decade, the demand for Spanish Language courses worldwide has almost doubled.
  • In both the US and Canada, Spanish is the most popular foreign language to learn. In the US, it is the most popular by a very wide margin. Students with 2 years of studying a foreign language generally score higher on their verbal scores on the ACT/SAT.

Economic Indicators

  • The Hispanic population in the United States has grown by 60% in just one decade. At present there are 35.5 million Hispanics, representing 12.5% of the total population. Hispanics are now the first minority.
  • Due to this increase there is a growing demand for the media to be in Spanish: radio, television, newspaper, magazines, for example.
  • Spain is 3rd most desirable country to live in based on standard of living, health and economy.

The U.S. and the Spanish-Speaking Population

  • According to the US Census, the number of Hispanics in the US grew by 57.9% between 1990 and 2000 – from a total of 22.4 million people to a total of 35.3 million people.
  • In the US, the 28 million people who speak Spanish at home is well over half of the approximately 47 million people who speak a language other than English at home, meaning Spanish is spoken by more people than all other languages combined within the U.S.
  • By 2050, the number of hispanics in the US is projected to grow exponentially to over 100 million people, which at that point will be about one quarter of the total U.S. population. That’s over triple the 2000 figure in a 50-year span. As of now, in the United States 13% of the population speak Spanish as their first language.

Spanish in the Media

  • In the New York City area, the newscast on the Spanish-language Noticias 41 and Noticiero Univision, often have higher ratings than news shows on CBS, NBC and ABC.
  • Approximately 5.8% of Internet users speak Spanish, making it the 4th most common language among the Internet community, after English, Japanese, and German.
  • A recent study of 25 metro markets in the U.S. found that Spanish-language programming was the sixth most popular format.

Leadership lived


University of Illinois Springfield
One University Plaza
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407



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