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¡Hola, amigas y amigos de SpanishCompadres.com! In this article, we’ll share with you the most interesting facts about Spanish speaking countries around the world. Did you know that there are countries where Spanish is an official language not only in America and Europe, but also in another continent? If you want to learn more about this interesting topic, keep on reading this post!

Spanish is an official language in the following countries (listed in alphabetical order): 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. Spanish is also the language of significant minorities in Andorra, Belize, Gibraltar, and the United States of America. We hope this article will help you choose your next travel destination 

 

Table of contents

 

Introduction

Spanish as an official language is spoken by more than 442 million people in three continents: America, Europe, and Africa. This number of speakers represents 5.74 percent of the world population (7.7 billion people). 

In the American continent, Spanish is officially spoken in eighteen countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela) and one dependent territory (Dominican Republic, which is a territory of the United States of America). In Europe, Spanish is the official language of Spain. In Africa, Spanish is one of the official languages in Equatorial Guinea.  

 

Countries where Spanish is an official language

 

Argentina ??

  • Spanish spelling: Argentina
  • Spanish pronunciation: /ar-hen-ti’-na/
  • Population: 44,694,198 people
  • Capital city: Buenos Aires 
  • Main exports: soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat
  • Main imports: machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic chemicals, plastics
  • Current leader (2019): President Mauricio Macri
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HXXL0SXd84 

 

Bolivia ??

  • Spanish spelling: Bolivia
  • Spanish pronunciation: /bo-li’-via/ 
  • Population: 11,306,341 people
  • Capital city: La Paz
  • Main exports: natural gas, silver, zinc, lead, tin, gold, quinoa, soybeans and soy products
  • Main imports: machinery, petroleum products, vehicles, iron and steel, plastics 
  • Current leader (2019): President Evo Morales
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDyw-hv97Os 

 

Chile ??

  • Spanish spelling: Chile
  • Spanish pronunciation: /chi’-le/
  • Population: 17,925,262 people 
  • Capital city: Santiago
  • Main exports: copper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine
  • Main imports: petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, natural gas
  • Current leader (2019): President Sebastián Piñera
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Xdsji20pdU 

 

Colombia ??

  • Spanish spelling: Colombia
  • Spanish pronunciation: /ko-lom’-bia/
  • Population: 48,168,996 people
  • Capital city: Bogotá
  • Main exports: petroleum, coal, emeralds, coffee, nickel, cut flowers, bananas, apparel
  • Main imports: industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
  • Current leader (2019): President Iván Duque
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCjG7jC9GzM 

 

Costa Rica ??

  • Spanish spelling: Costa Rica
  • Spanish pronunciation: /kos’-ta rri’-ka/ Roll your R in “Rica”
  • Population: 4,987,142 people
  • Capital city: San José
  • Main exports: bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; beef; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment
  • Main imports: raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials
  • Current leader (2019): President Carlos Alvarado 
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqSaYhUuqUM 

 

Cuba ??

  • Spanish spelling: Cuba
  • Spanish pronunciation: /ku’-ba/ 
  • Population: 11,116,396 people
  • Capital city: La Habana
  • Main exports: petroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
  • Main imports: petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
  • Current leader (2019): President Miguel Díaz-Canel
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNj_Y8mJJMw 

 

Dominican Republic ??

  • Spanish spelling: República Dominicana
  • Spanish pronunciation: /rre-pu’-bli-ka do-mi-ni-ka’-na/ Roll your R in “República”
  • Population: 10,298,756 people
  • Capital city: Santo Domingo
  • Main exports: gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
  • Main imports: petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • Current leader (2019): President Danilo Medina
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paHFoDhiBpc 

 

Ecuador ??

  • Spanish spelling: Ecuador
  • Spanish pronunciation: /e-kua-dor’/
  • Population: 16,498,502 people
  • Capital city: Quito
  • Main exports: petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
  • Main imports: industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
  • Current leader (2019): President Lenín Moreno
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlJhfPmBHMU 

 

El Salvador ??

  • Spanish spelling: El Salvador
  • Spanish pronunciation: /el sal-va-dor’/
  • Population: 6,187,271 people
  • Capital city: San Salvador
  • Main exports: offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, textiles and apparel, ethanol, chemicals, electricity, iron and steel manufactures
  • Main imports: raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels, foodstuffs, petroleum, electricity
  • Current leader (2019): President Nayib Bukele
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKlgyzavWE0  

 

Equatorial Guinea ??

  • Spanish spelling: Guinea Ecuatorial
  • Spanish pronunciation: /gi-ne’-a e-kua-to-rial’/ /g/ is the first sound in gobierno
  • Population: 797,457 people
  • Capital city: Malabo
  • Main exports: petroleum products, timber
  • Main imports: petroleum sector equipment, other equipment, construction materials, vehicles
  • Current leader (2019): President Teodoro Obiang 
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSzCnfeD6Ig  

 

Guatemala ??

  • Spanish spelling: Guatemala
  • Spanish pronunciation: /gua-te-ma’-la/
  • Population: 16,581,273 people
  • Capital city: Ciudad de Guatemala
  • Main exports: sugar, coffee, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, manufacturing products, precious stones and metals, electricity
  • Main imports: fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity, mineral products, chemical products, plastic materials and products
  • Current leader (2019): President Jimmy Morales 
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_hoilJzID0 

 

Honduras ??

  • Spanish spelling: Honduras
  • Spanish pronunciation: /on-du’-ras/
  • Population: 9,182,766 people
  • Capital city: Tegucigalpa
  • Main exports: coffee, apparel, coffee, shrimp, automobile wire harnesses, cigars, bananas, gold, palm oil, fruit, lobster, lumber
  • Main imports: communications equipment, machinery and transport, industrial raw materials, chemical products, fuels, foodstuffs
  • Current leader (2019): President Juan Orlando Hernández
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCWMELqlwWM 

 

Mexico ??

  • Spanish spelling: México
  • Spanish pronunciation: /me’-hi-ko/
  • Population: 125,959,205 people
  • Capital city: Ciudad de México
  • Main exports: manufactured goods, electronics, vehicles and auto parts, oil and oil products, silver, plastics, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton; Mexico is the world’s leading producer of silver
  • Main imports: metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, automobile parts for assembly and repair, aircraft, aircraft parts, plastics, natural gas and oil products
  • Current leader (2019): President Andrés Manuel López Obrador
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXcdqF2PjLw  

 

Nicaragua ??

  • Spanish spelling: Nicaragua
  • Spanish pronunciation: /ni-ka-ra’-gua/
  • Population: 6,085,213 people
  • Capital city: Managua
  • Main exports: coffee, beef, gold, sugar, peanuts, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles, apparel
  • Main imports: consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
  • Current leader (2019): President Daniel Ortega 
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8zxb6Lh7qs 

 

Panama ??

  • Spanish spelling: Panamá
  • Spanish pronunciation: /pa-na-ma’/
  • Population: 3,800,644 people
  • Capital city: Panamá
  • Main exports: fruit and nuts, fish, iron and steel waste, wood 
  • Main imports: fuels, machinery, vehicles, iron and steel rods, pharmaceuticals
  • Current leader (2019): President Juan Carlos Varela
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcl9q45IbnM  

 

Paraguay ??

  • Spanish spelling: Paraguay
  • Spanish pronunciation: /pa-ra-gua’i/
  • Population: 7,025,763 people
  • Capital city: Asunción
  • Main exports: soybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather, gold
  • Main imports: road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
  • Current leader (2019): President Mario Abdo Benítez
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA17HCuhlOs 

 

Peru ??

  • Spanish spelling: Perú
  • Spanish pronunciation: /pe-ru’/ 
  • Population: 31,331,228 people
  • Capital city: Lima
  • Main exports: copper, gold, lead, zinc, tin, iron ore, molybdenum, silver; crude petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas; coffee, asparagus and other vegetables, fruit, apparel and textiles, fishmeal, fish, chemicals, fabricated metal products and machinery, alloys
  • Main imports: petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, plastics, machinery, vehicles, TV sets, power shovels, front-end loaders, telephones and telecommunication equipment, iron and steel, wheat, corn, soybean products, paper, cotton, vaccines and medicines
  • Current leader (2019): President Martín Vizcarra
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZYf8QM9agw 

 

Spain ??

  • Spanish spelling: España
  • Spanish pronunciation: /es-pa’-ña/ ñ sounds like the first sound in the Italian word gnocchi
  • Population: 49,331,076 people
  • Capital city: Madrid
  • Main exports: machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
  • Main imports: machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semi-finished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments
  • Current leader (2019): President Pedro Sánchez
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwrcycrjNUo 

 

Uruguay ??

  • Spanish spelling: Uruguay
  • Spanish pronunciation: /u-ru-gua’i/
  • Population: 3,369,299 people
  • Capital city: Montevideo
  • Main exports: beef, soybeans, cellulose, rice, wheat, wood, dairy products, wool
  • Main imports: refined oil, crude oil, passenger and other transportation vehicles, vehicle parts, cellular phones
  • Current leader (2019): President Tabaré Vázquez
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZig1rNG5Do 

 

Venezuela ??

  • Spanish spelling: Venezuela
  • Spanish pronunciation: /ve-ne-sue’-la/
  • Population: 31,689,176 people
  • Capital city: Caracas
  • Main exports: petroleum and petroleum products, bauxite and aluminum, minerals, chemicals, agricultural products
  • Main imports: agricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products
  • Current leader (2019): President Nicolás Maduro
  • Current leader interview (accent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVkwC0FZDn0 

 

Countries and territories where Spanish is spoken by significant minorities

 

Andorra ??

  • Spanish spelling: Andorra
  • Spanish pronunciation: /an-do’-rra/ Roll your R in the final syllable
  • Population: 85,708 people
  • Spanish speakers: 29,907 people (around 35% of the population)
  • Capital city: Andorra la Vella
  • Main exports: tobacco products, furniture
  • Main imports: consumer goods, food, fuel, electricity
  • Current leader (2019): President Xavier Espot

 

Belize ??

  • Spanish spelling: Belice
  • Spanish pronunciation: /be-li’-se/
  • Population: 385,854 people
  • Spanish speakers: 106,795 people (around 31% of the population)
  • Capital city: Belmopán
  • Main exports: sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, crude oil 
  • Main imports: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; food, beverages, tobacco 
  • Current leader (2019): Prime Minister Dean Barrow 

 

Gibraltar ??

  • Spanish spelling: Gibraltar
  • Spanish pronunciation: /hi-bral-tar’/
  • Population: 29,461 people
  • Spanish speakers: 23,857 people (around 82% of the population)
  • Capital city: Gibraltar
  • Main exports: (principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods (2010 est.)
  • Main imports: fuels, manufactured goods, foodstuffs
  • Current leader (2019): Prime Minister Fabian Picardo

 

The United States of America ??

  • Spanish spelling: Estados Unidos
  • Spanish pronunciation: /es-ta’-dos u-ni’-dos/
  • Population: 318,892,103 people
  • Spanish speakers: 52,000,000 people (around 16% of the population)
  • Capital city: Washington D.C.
  • Main exports: agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2008 est.)
  • Main imports: agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2008 est.)
  • Current leader (2019): President Donald Trump

 

Conclusion

As we said in our article “Why is it important to learn Spanish? | Top 6 reasons”:

The fourth most widely spoken language in the world, only after English, Chinese and Hindi, Spanish is currently the majority language in the following 21 countries and territories: Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Uruguay and Equatorial Guinea. Only in the mentioned nations, there are over 442,000,000 Spanish speakers. Let us consider now Spanish speaking residents in countries where Spanish is not the official language. Only in the United States, the largest population of Spanish speaking residents, there are about 52 million! Actually, the estimated number of Spanish speakers in the world is as high as 534.3 million. Is it important to speak Spanish if it helps you reach about 661 million potential friends, coworkers, collaborators or clients? Also, who knows? Maybe even your soulmate is one of them, too?

Knowing the most important facts about Spanish speaking countries and territories will help you take good traveling decisions if you feel like visiting one of the countries described in the article, whether as a tourist or on business.

 

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