Spanish Language Facts: USA

The United States has the fourth largest Spanish-speaking population among all countries in the world (or third largest, depending on how sources tally “native” speakers).
US Census Bureau data from 2007:

  • Overall, 19.7% of the US population five years of age and older speaks a language other than English at home (compared to 17.9% in 2000, 13.8% in 1990).
  • 38.1 million people (12.6% of the US population) were born in another country. Among these foreign-born residents, 12 million (31%) were born in Mexico.
  • The five U.S. states with highest percentages of foreign-born populations are California, New York, New Jersey, Nevada and Florida.
  • Among US population five years and older, about 35 million people (12.3%) speak Spanish at home. More than half of these Spanish speakers said they also spoke English “very well.”
  • Among US residents identifying themselves as “Hispanic-origin” (regardless of Spanish-language proficiency), 64% were of Mexican background.
  • 78% of US Hispanics speak Spanish at home.
  • Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas are among US states where at least one in five residents speaks Spanish at home.

Approximately 500 million of the world’s people speak Spanish, including those who speak it as a second language. Spanish is the third most common language in the world after English and Mandarin Chinese, and is the third most-frequently used language on the Internet.
64.2% of Web users are not native English speakers. There are approximately 208 million native English speakers and 608 million non-English speakers online. (Global Reach, 2004).
ASIST Translation Services, Inc. is a full-service translation agency located in Columbus, Ohio. We provide translation, interpreting, proofreading, voice recording and media production, localization of interactive and Web content, and specialized language services to clients around the world.

Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.