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  • People waiting to attend a technology job fair in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2017.

    People waiting to attend a technology job fair in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 July 2019

The number of Spanish speakers is increasing within both the United States and European countries.

By 2060 the United States will become the second most numerous Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to "The future of the Spanish Language in the World", a study released Thursday by the Cervantes Institute in Madrid, Spain.

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According to this research, potential users of Spanish exceed 580 millon, a figure which includes native speakers, limited competition speakers and foreign language learners. This prospect makes Spanish the third language in the global ranking, after English and Chinese.

For demographic reasons, the percentage of the world population speaking Spanish as a native language is increasing, while the proportion of Chinese, English and French speakers is decreasing.

In this sense, the weight of the Spanish-speaking community will be higher than today. For as nearly one in three U.S. inhabitants will be Hispanic in 2060.

At this moment, the U.S. is the developed country where Spanish is "by far" the most studied language at all levels of education.

In other Anglophone nations, Spanish is also seen as one of the most influential languages. For example, in the U.K., there will be more students of Spanish than learners of French in the next decade.

Something similar occurs in 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) countries, where Spanish is already the language that most people would like to learn as a second language.

Due to demographic and cultural trends, France, Sweden and Italy are the European countries where Spanish is the most studied language in upper secondary education.

Globally, about 22 million people are actively learning Spanish as a foreign language in 2019. French and Chinese Mandarin occupy the second position in the rank of ​​more studied languages.

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