Spanish is becoming the fastest-growing language in the world. Currently approximately 559 million people all over the world speak Spanish according to the latest data from the Instituto Cervantes, the most important Spanish language official academic institution. This figure includes native speakers, people who have Spanish as a second language and Spanish students (more than 21 million) studying Spanish in Spain and abroad.
Spanish is in fashion. Increasingly more people speak Spanish all over the world and more and more people decide to study Spanish outside Spain for professional or personal reasons. 21 million people study Spanish worldwide. This means a million and a half more students than in 2014.
The USA, Brazil and France are the foreign countries with most students learning Spanish. Many of them need the Spanish language to progress at work or for economic reasons. Brazil currently has eight cities where there is an Instituto Cervantes head office. The Brazilians’ interest in Spanish is due to the fact that their country is surrounded by Spanish-speaking countries, so it is necessary to know Spanish for international trade and financial issues.
In this sense, it should also be noted that the foreign countries that have more students of Spanish as a foreign language are France, Italy, Germany, and Ireland. Outside Europe, the growing number of people who want to learn Spanish is spectacular in sub-Saharan Africa. At the head of this African ranking are Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
In short, good news for Spanish language lovers, a source of pride for all teachers worldwide who, with more or fewer financial, technical and logistical means, strive to teach the Spanish language in an honest and professional way. Pride and optimism, because future expectations for learning Spanish abroad are more than promising: in 2030, 7.5% of the world population will be Spanish speakers. Four generations later, this figure will have reached 10% of the world population.
Every year, on the Saturday nearest to the summer solstice in June, International E Day (“Día del Español”) is held, commemorating the current strength of the Spanish language spoken by 500 million people throughout the world. This figure means 7% of the world population.
Spanish is not only one of the most widely spoken languages (exceeded only by Mandarin Chinese), but it is also the second most used language of the Internet, after English. This is proof that people learn Spanish abroad, that the Spanish language is highly relevant, since the social networks Facebook and Twitter are used mostly by young people. This use and learning of Spanish by young people abroad ensures the health and promising future of the Spanish language worldwide.