The Instituto Cervantes is the Spanish state institution that promotes the Spanish language and Hispanic culture throughout the world. Since 1998 it has published the yearbook entitled “El español en el mundo” (Spanish around the world) which, since 2012, includes the report “El español: una lengua viva” (Spanish: a living language). This document provides data on the situation of the Spanish language around the world in the demographic, economic, scientific and cultural areas, as well as its presence in the digital world.
Spanish is a fashionable language
This year’s report gives impressive figures. In 2019, there are almost 438 million native Spanish speakers. If we also take into account those who have limited competence in the language and those who study it as a foreign language, the figure rises to 580 million. This makes it the second most spoken mother tongue in the world, after Chinese and surpassing English.
While the amount of native speakers of Chinese, English and French decreases, the demographic weight of Spanish makes it grow, moderately but continuously until 2050, when there will be 756 million Spanish speakers (with varying levels of proficiency). Today, 7.6% of the world’s population speaks Spanish, and the figure will rise by 0.1% within three decades.
By 2100, the number of Spanish speakers is expected to drop to 6.6%, due to the decline in the Spanish-speaking population and the population growth in many of the French-speaking countries of Africa. However, by that date, the number of native Spanish speakers will still be higher than the number of native English and French speakers.
Learning Spanish is a guarantee for the future
We already published a post about Business Spanish in which we talked about the importance of Spanish in the international arena and in commercial relations. According to data from this year’s Instituto Cervantes report, Spanish is the fourth most powerful language in the world and is the second language of international communication. The Spanish-speaking countries as a whole have a purchasing power of around 10% of the world’s GDP.
Besides, knowing Spanish multiplies by seven foreign direct investment inflows. This means that more and more companies around the world are interested in establishing relationships with Spanish-speaking countries and localizing their products for the Spanish-speaking market. To get us an idea of the importance of Spanish in the world, by 2060, the United States will be the second Spanish-speaking country in the world after Mexico.
Spanish also occupies the third position in the UN and the fourth position in the EU institutions. If we look at social networks and the Internet, Spanish is the third most used language on the net and the second most used on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Wikipedia.
Mastering Spanish opens the doors to professionals looking forward to growing at work and opening new doors in an increasingly competitive market. Knowing a language as important and demanded as Spanish makes aspirants stand out in their job interviews and reach new life and professional goals.
Almost 22 million people have already started learning Spanish in 2019. What are you waiting for to join them?