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How Many Spanish Speaking Countries Are There? Complete Travelers Guide

Are you wondering how many Spanish speaking countries there are? Perhaps you have learned a little bit of Spanish in school, and are wondering where this could prove useful. Or maybe you love the culture and want to explore it further.

There are 20 Spanish-speaking countries. This includes countries where Spanish is either the official main language, or the de-facto (used, but not formally recognized) language. Mexico has the largest population of native Spanish speakers, followed by the United States, Colombia, Spain, and Argentina.

spanish speaking countries
Colorful street in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

All the countries that speak Spanish include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

In this article, we will delve into the statistics of these countries. We will also discuss other countries where there is a significant population of Spanish speakers and countries where the Spanish language has had a historical influence.

Countries where Spanish is spoken as a primary language

The following table lists all countries where Spanish is spoken as a primary language. It is in alphabetical order. Country population numbers are from 2021.

Note: If using a mobile device, rotate to landscape view for best view of chart.

CountryContinentCountry PopulationLanguage Status
1ArgentinaSouth America45,864,941Spanish is the only official language, but there are 7 other recognized regional languages.
2BoliviaSouth America11,758,869Spanish is one of 37 official languages.
3ChileSouth America18,307,925Spanish is the only official language.
4ColombiaSouth America50,355,650Spanish is the only official language, but there are 68 other recognized regional languages.
5Costa RicaNorth (Central) America5,151,140Spanish is the only official language, but there are 3 other recognized regional languages.
6CubaNorth America11,032,343Spanish is the only official language.
7Dominican RepublicNorth America10,597,348Spanish is the only official language.
8EcuadorSouth America17,093,159Spanish is the only official language, but there are 13 other recognized regional languages.
9El SalvadorSouth America6,528,135Spanish is the only official language.
10Equatorial GuineaAfrica857,008Spanish, French, and Portuguese are official languages.
11GuatemalaNorth (Central) America17,422,821Spanish is the only official language. Other languages include 21 Mayan languages and 2 other Amerindian languages
12HondurasNorth (Central) America9,346,277Spanish is the only official language.
13MexicoNorth America130,207,371No languages are officially recognized at the federal level. But Spanish and 68 “Amerindian” languages are recognized as regional languages.
14NicaraguaNorth (Central) America6,243,931Spanish is the only official language, but there are 7 other recognized regional languages.
15PanamaNorth (Central) America3,928,646Spanish is the only official language.
16ParaguaySouth America7,272,639Spanish and Guarani are both official languages.
17PeruSouth America32,201,224Spanish is the main official language. However, in areas where they predominate, Quecha, Aymara, and other Indigenous languages also have official status.
18SpainEurope47,260,584Spanish is the only official language, but there are 4 other recognized regional languages.
19UruguaySouth America3,398,239No languages are officially recognized at the federal level, but Spanish is the de facto language. Uruguayan Portuguese is spoken as a regional language.
20VenezuelaSouth America29,069,153Spanish is the only official language, but there are 70+ recognized regional languages.

Total Population of these Spanish Speaking Countries: 442,476,007

Spanish Speaking Countries: A Detailed Description

As you travel to the different countries on this list, you will find variations in the Spanish language.

You’ve likely noticed a difference in the English spoken in the United States vs the English spoken in England vs the English spoken in Jamaica. It’s similar in Spanish-speaking countries.

There are variations in regional dialects, pronunciation, and words used.

1. Argentina

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: Guarani, Quechua, Qom (or Kom), Mocovi (or Moqoit), Wichi, and Welsh
  • Population: 45,864,941
  • Continent: South America

In addition to the recognized regional languages, you will also find large populations of English, Italian, Arabic, and German speakers. Over 60% of the population has full or partial Italian ancestry.

Argentina is also home to the largest Jewish population in Latin America, with Yiddish being spoken by 200,000 people.

2. Bolivia

  • Official Language(s): Spanish, along with 36 native languages (including Aymara, Guarani, and Quechua)
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 11,758,869
  • Continent: South America

All legal and official documents issued by the government are written in Spanish.

According to a 2001 census, Spanish is spoken by two-thirds of the Bolivian population, Quechua is spoken by 21.2%, Aymara is spoken by 14.6%, and Guarani by 0.6%. The other native languages are spoken by 0.4% of the population.

spanish speaking countries bolivia
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Learn more about popular foods in Bolivia.

3. Chile

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 18,307,925
  • Continent: South America

Chileans have a distinct accent when speaking Spanish. Final syllables are often dropped, and words can sound muffled to the untrained ear.

There are several pockets of Indigenous languages, as well as German, Italian, English, and Greek.

Here’s more about the best Chilean foods.

4. Colombia

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: 68 recognized
  • Population: 50,355,650
  • Continent: South America

Columbia is a linguistically rich country. While the majority of people speak Spanish, there are 68 other regionally recognized languages.

There are 65 indigenous languages in Colombia, 2 Creole languages, 2 sign languages, and Portuguese, Romani, and English.

5. Costa Rica

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: unknown, but includes Bribri, and Mekatelyu (Jamaican Patois)
  • Population: 5,151,140
  • Continent: North (Central) America

While Spanish is the primary language spoken in Costa Rica, you will find Mekatelyu (a form of Creole-English) along the Caribbean Coast. Native languages include Bribri, Maléku, Cabécar, and Ngäbere.

Volcano in Costa Rica

Learn more about Costa Rica.

6. Cuba

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 11,032,343
  • Continent: North America

Most Cubans speak Spanish. They have a reputation for speaking quickly, and dropping syllables.

The second most spoken language in Cuba is Haitian Creole, due to the number of immigrants.

Have you tried these tasty Cuban foods?

7. Dominican Republic

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 10,597,348
  • Continent: North America

Dominican Spanish has borrowed words from African and Indigenous languages. English and French are both taught to some extent in the school system.

8. Ecuador

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: 13 indigenous languages including Quechua (Kichwa), and Shuar
  • Population: 17,093,159
  • Continent: South America

93% of Ecuador’s population speaks Spanish as a first language. 4.1% speak Quechua. 2.2% speak a foreign language.

Only 0.7% speak one of the other indigenous languages, and many are considered to be dying languages.

Cuenca Ecuador
Parque Calderon in Cuenca, Ecuador

Check out our Ecuador Travel Guide

9. El Salvador

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 6,528,135
  • Continent: South America

Spanish is spoken by almost all people in El Salvador, but there are pockets that speak native languages such as Nawat and Poqomam.

Have you tried these Salvadoran foods?

10. Equatorial Guinea

  • Official Language(s): Spanish, Portuguese, and French
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 857,008
  • Continent: Africa

Spanish is spoken by two-thirds of the population and is used as the language of administration and education.

French is only spoken in some border towns. Portuguese was added as an official language in 2010.

11. Guatemala

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: 21 Mayan languages and 2 other Amerindian languages
  • Population: 17,422,821
  • Continent: North (Central) America

Spanish is spoken by 93% of Guatemala’s population. Other languages in the country include 21 Mayan languages, along with Xinca and Garifuna.

antigua guatemala
Santa Catalina Arch, Antigua, Guatemala

12. Honduras

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 9,346,277
  • Continent: North (Central) America

Almost everyone in Honduras speaks Spanish, but you can also find speakers of native languages such as Garifuna, and Miskito.

13. Mexico

  • Official Language(s): n/a
  • Regional Languages: Spanish and 68 Amerindian languages
  • Population: 130,207,371
  • Continent: North America

More Spanish speakers live in Mexico than in any other country in the world. Spanish is not the official language, as they don’t have one. But it is the de-facto language of the country.

The Mexican government recognizes 68 linguistic groups and 364 varieties of indigenous languages.

14. Nicaragua

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: English, Miskito, Rama, Sumo, Miskito Coast Creole, Garifuna, and Rama Cay Creole
  • Population: 6,243,931
  • Continent: North (Central) America

Different regions in Nicaragua speak Spanish using a variety of unique accents and expressions.

On the Caribbean Coast, you will find English-based Creoles and Indigenous languages.

Here are 22 Nicaraguan foods to try.

15. Panama

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 3,928,646
  • Continent: North (Central) America

Around 93% of Panamanians speak Spanish as a first language. There are a variety of native languages, such as Ngäbere. English is taught in public schools.

16. Paraguay

  • Official Language(s): Spanish, and Guarani
  • Regional Languages: n/a
  • Population: 7,272,639
  • Continent: South America

Most Paraguayans are truly bilingual, with 87% of the population able to speak Spanish, and 90% speaking Guarani. Approximately 19 other indigenous languages are also spoken, although some are endangered.

17. Peru

  • Official Language(s): Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, etc.
  • Regional Languages: see below
  • Population: 32,201,224
  • Continent: South America

Spanish is the main official language of Peru, spoken as a first language by 83% of the population. But in areas where they predominate, native languages also have official status.

Check out these traditional Peruvian foods.

18. Spain

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: see below
  • Population: 47,260,584
  • Continent: Europe

Spanish has been the official language of Spain since 1931. However, there are autonomous communities that have co-official languages in their territories.

These languages include Catalan, Galician, and Basque.

Cities in Spain

Learn about Spain with these 77 facts.

19. Uruguay

  • Official Language(s): n/a
  • Regional Languages: Uruguayan Portuguese
  • Population: 3,398,239
  • Continent: South America

Spanish is spoken as the de facto language of Uruguay. Along the border with Brazil, Uruguay Portuguese is spoken. No indigenous languages are thought to remain.

20. Venezuela

  • Official Language(s): Spanish
  • Regional Languages: at least 70 indigenous languages
  • Population: 29,069,153
  • Continent: South America

Spanish is spoken by the majority of Venezuelans. According to their 1999 Constitution, Indigenous languages also hold official status within their villages, of which Wayuu is most common.

There are also large Chinese, Portuguese, and Italian populations.

Venezuela is home to Lake Maracaibo – the lightning capital of the world.

all of the countries that speak spanish
La Ronda, Spain

Other Countries with a Significant Spanish-Speaking Population

Andorra

  • Total Population: 85,458
  • Spanish Speakers: 40,000
  • Percentage of Total: 43.2%
  • Continent: Europe

The official language of Andorra is Catalan. Spanish, Portuguese, and French are all commonly spoken.

Andorra is ruled by two “co-princes,” the Bishop of Urgell in Spain, and the President of France.

Belize

  • Total Population: 340,844
  • Spanish Speakers: 165,296
  • Percentage of Total: 56.6%
  • Continent: South America

Having borders with Mexico and Guatemala, 30% speak Spanish as a mother tongue. Nearly double that number have a working knowledge of the language.

Gibraltar

  • Total Population: 29,185
  • Spanish Speakers: 23,857
  • Percentage of Total: 82%
  • Continent: Europe

The official language of Gibraltar is English, as it is considered to be a British overseas territory.

However, most Gibraltarians speak Llanito, which is based on Andalusian Spanish but heavily influenced by English and other languages

The United States

  • Total Population: 318,892,103
  • Spanish Speakers: 59,763,631
  • Percentage of Total: 19%
  • Continent: North America

The Southwest of the United States was once part of “New Spain.” Nowadays, most of the Spanish population in the US is a result of immigration. After Mexico, the United States has the second-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.

The 19% of Spanish speakers includes 13% who speak it at home and an additional 6% who have learned it or speak it as a second language.

Puerto Rico

  • Population: 3,285,874

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. While 94% of the population speak Spanish as a first language. Both Spanish and English are considered official languages.

Countries with Historical Spanish Influence

Western Sahara

Spain occupied a portion of Western Sahara (now mostly in Morrocco) between 1884 and 1976.

Arabic is now the official language of the area, but Spanish is still used as a secondary language.

The Philippines

Spanish was an official language of the Philippines from 1565 until 1987.

While less than 0.5% of the current population speak fluent Spanish, Tagalog and other Filipino languages have incorporated a lot of Spanish words.

Check out our Filipino Food Guide

Isreal

Ladino, or Judaeo-Spanish, is derived from medieval Spanish. In 1492, due to the Edict of Expulsion, practicing Jews were expelled from Spain. Many returned to Isreal and kept their language with them.

Today Ladino is spoken mainly by Sephardic minorities.

Learn more: 78 Facts about Israel

Common Questions About Spanish Speaking Countries

How many people speak Spanish in the United States?

Around 59,000,000 (43,000,000 are native Spanish speakers, while the rest have learned it to the point of being fluent, or speak it as a second language).

How many people speak Spanish in Spain?

Around 47,000,000.

How many people speak Spanish in Latin America?

Around 400,000,000 people.

How many people speak Spanish worldwide?

Around 572,000,000, which includes 477,000,000 native speakers.

how many spanish speaking countries are there

And here are three more posts to help you in your Spanish journey.

Your Turn:

Do you speak Spanish? Where do you plan on traveling next? Please join in the comments below.

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