Spanish-speaking Countries Around the World: 21 Amazing Nations

This picture shows amazing buildings revealing the beauty of Spanish Speaking countries around the world

The Spanish speaking countries with the beautiful Spanish language have the second largest number of native speakers worldwide.

In Fact:

Spanish is also one of the most-used languages on the internet, with multiple Spanish Speaking countries and communities on international social networks.

Not only that:

Spanish is continuing to grow in traditionally non-Spanish-speaking countries.

Let’s take the United States, for example, where over 60 million people identified as being of Hispanic origin in the 2019 census, comprising more than 18% of the country’s population.

Spanish has by far the most native speakers in the country, with 12% of the American population using it as their primary language in 2021.

From just a dialect in the 9th century, Spanish is now one of the most widespread languages on Earth. So Where exactly are these Spanish Speaking countries located and what are their origins?

Spanish Language Origins:

The Spanish flag shows how multiple-speaking countries originated back in the day

If you want to understand how these Spanish speaking countries and the Spanish language became so widespread, you’ll have to turn to history.

Where did all these Countries in Spanish come from?

Traveling back in time a few centuries, we meet Christopher Columbus. The explorer made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain determined to find a direct route to Asia.

Instead, he discovered the Americas. As a result of his unintended discovery, the Spanish language spread throughout the New World.

In the following century, the Spanish conquistadors arrived on American coasts together with their language.

Not only that:

Catholic missionaries brought Latin, the language of the Catholic Church. Many of them found it easier to spread understanding and faith in native languages than in Latin, which was generally believed to be appropriate for conversion purposes.

Naturally, this mix of languages gradually created new forms of Spanish that were unique to the New World.

These dialectical versions of Spanish were the official languages of all the countries in Spanish conquered populations by the time they had freed themselves from Spanish rule in the 19th century.

The good news?

Spanish became so widespread thanks to its colonial empire. With its maximum extent in the 18th century, the Spanish empire became the first one to be known as “the empire on which the sun never sets”.

And that’s the short story of how Spanish became so widespread throughout the world and why there are multiple countries in Spanish.

Ladies sitting out on the porch illustrating the many Spanish countries around the globe

According to the United Nations definitions, there are currently 195 countries in the world. We’ve included over half of them in our list below so you can learn how to say all these countries in Spanish.

Here’s the deal:

If you are planning to learn Spanish, or have already nailed down some of the basics, then there are tons of attractive options for putting your Español to the test.

To be exact, 21 countries have Spanish as their official language with a total of 475 million Spanish Speakers worldwide.

  1. Mexico
  2. Colombia
  3. Spain
  4. Argentina
  5. Perú
  6. Venezuela
  7. Chile
  8. Ecuador
  9. Guatemala
  10. Cuba
  11. Bolivia
  12. Dominican Republic
  13. Honduras
  14. Paraguay
  15. El Salvador
  16. Nicaragua
  17. Costa Rica
  18. Panamá
  19. Uruguay
  20. Puerto Rico
  21. Ecuatorial Guinea

In addition to these countries in Spanish, Spanish is also the official language of several international organizations.

These include the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the African Union, and many other international organizations.

Here’s the deal:

As we learn about the Spanish language and the significance of ‘how to say’ multiple nationalities in Spanish, we will start to connect to the myriad ways Spanish speakers identify themselves and others in Spanish-speaking countries.

Now let’s go into a little more detail and split the countries in Spanish into continents.

Whether you’re a language enthusiast, a traveler, or simply curious about all the Spanish speaking countries, join us as we navigate through the linguistic wonders to understand the second most spoken language worldwide.

¡Bienvenidos a bordo! (Welcome aboard!)

South America:

Two Amazon kids illustrate the countries in Spanish in the South America jungle.

Since the Americas boast the highest number of Spanish-speaking countries in the world, we figured it’s best to start our exploration in South America. Out of the thirteen countries in the South American continent, nine are Spanish-speaking. This means there are more Spanish-speaking countries here than anywhere else in the world.

Mexico:

Mexico stands as a cultural powerhouse. From the mystique of ancient civilizations like the Aztecs and Mayans to the vibrant colors of its traditional celebrations like Dia de los Muertos, Mexico is a living testament to the fusion of the old and the new.

Colombia:

Journeying to the north, Colombia unfolds with its breathtaking landscapes and warm hospitality. The Colombian Spanish, known for its clarity and melodious accents, echoes the diverse topography – from the lush Amazon rainforest to the Andean peaks.

Argentina:

In the southern cone, Argentina beckons with the passionate embrace of tango and the sprawling pampas. The Argentine Spanish, with its distinct pronunciation and vocabulary, narrates tales of European influences and the resilience of local identity.

Perú:

Nestled in the Andes, Peru narrates stories of ancient civilizations like the Incas. Peruvian cuisine, Machu Picchu ruins, bustling city of Lima, Nazca Lines, visiting the Amazon, Lake Titicaca, and surfing in Mancora.

Venezuela:

The Venezuelan Angel Falls (the highest waterfall in the world at 3230 feet), beach time in Margarita Island, and dunes of Médanos de Coro National Park.

Unfortunately, Venezuela is pretty unstable at the moment, so we cannot advise visiting there right now.

Chile:

Chile with Easter Island, Punta Arenas (also claimed to be the southernmost city in the world), adventure sports in Pucón, Valparaiso street art, and sandboarding in the Atacama desert.

Ecuador:

Ecuador features Montañita beach town, Cotopaxi National Park, the Galápagos Islands (which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution), and Quito, one of the highest capital cities in the world (prepare for the altitude).

Bolivia:

The land of Salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, the infamous “death road” bicycle trail in La Paz, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon rainforest.

Paraguay:

The Iguazu Falls in Paraguay, which borders Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, is one of the top tourist attractions in South America.

Uruguay:

Surfing in Punta del Diablo, strolling around the quaint Colonia del Sacramento, whale watching from the beaches of Piriápolis.

Central America:

Man wearing a colorful hat to illustrate the Spanish countries in Central America.

Venturing into Central America, countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua present a vibrant blend of indigenous traditions and colonial legacies. The Spanish spoken here is a fusion of historical influences.

By the way:

Out of the seven countries in Central America, only Belize doesn’t have Spanish as its official language. However, the majority of the Belizeans can speak Spanish. Thus, if you’re planning a trip to Central America, speaking Spanish will come in handy.

Costa Rica:

Costa Rica features The Arenal Volcano National Park, the secluded beaches of Guanacaste, and the diversity of Corcovado National Park, an 11,000-acre rainforest.

El Salvador:

If you happen to be in El Salvador, check out the Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site, a pre-Columbian Maya farming village somehow incredibly intact under layers of volcanic ash.

Or head down to Playa El Tunco beach to catch some waves and relax for a few days.

Guatemala:

Guatemala with the Ancient Mayan city of Tikal, sunrise hike in Lake Atitlán, and adventure sports in Semuc Champey.

Honduras:

Here you will find the Ancient ruins of Copán, which are considered some of the best in Central America. Roatán and Utila if surfing or water activities are your thing.

Nicaragua:

Nicaragua with the Colonial vibes of Granada, nightlife in San Juan del Sur, surfing down the active “Cerro Negro” volcano at 93 km/hr in León.Europe:

Panama:

The Panama Canal, which connects the Caribbean and Pacific, Casco Viejo district in Panama City, the coast for surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, or simply chilling by a Caribbean beach.

The Caribbean

Little kids playing at the beach to illustrate Countries in Spanish in the Caribbean

If Mexico is the country with the most Spanish speakers in the world, the Caribbean is the continent with the largest proportion of Spanish speakers in the world.

Cuba:

Cruising around Havana in a car from the 1950s, cigar farms in Viñales, Cuba Libres & salsa in Trinidad, and beach time in Varadero. What a trip!

Dominican Republic:

The Cordillera Central trek, learning the bachata in Santo Domingo, whale watching in Samaná Bay, and chilling at “Playa Las Ballenas” beach.

Puerto Rico:

The 16-century Castillo San Felipe del Morro fortress jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, the historic old city of San Juan, the El Yunque tropical forest, and endless beaches.

Europe:

Castles and beautiful architecture in Europe illustrate countries in Spanish and where everything started.

The home continent of the Spanish language. Here’s the irony “It’s truly surprising how few people speak Spanish here” The reason for this is that a significant number of people in Spain speak Catalan.

Spain:

Barcelona & Real Madrid battling it out in “El Clasico,” eating tapas, architectural masterpieces such as Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, and the fortress/palace Alhambra, heading south for some beach hopping.

Keep in mind:

Spain is the first of the Spanish speaking countries that introduced the language everywhere else.

Africa:

A man riding his bike on an African road to illustrate countries in Spanish in that part of the world.

The only Spanish-speaking country in Africa is Equatorial Guinea. While unexpected, a bit of history reading will reveal that Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony, hence the official status of the language all the way here.

Equatorial Guinea:

The final Spanish-speaking country is located in Africa.

Around a third of the population in Equatorial Guinea speaks Spanish, while French, Fang, and Bubi are also spoken.

Not only that:

Equatorial Guinea, located on the west coast of Central Africa, stands as a prominent example of Spanish influence. The legacy of colonial history has shaped the linguistic and cultural identity of this nation, where Spanish is an official language alongside indigenous languages.

Oceania:

A picture of an island to illustrate the beauty of Oceania and the countries in Spanish that are located there.

Our global exploration of Spanish speaking countries now takes us to the captivating region of Oceania, where the Spanish language has left a unique imprint. Join me as we navigate the azure waters and lush landscapes of the Pacific, uncovering the intriguing stories of Spanish influence in this far-reaching corner of the world.

Bonus: The Philippines:

In the heart of Oceania, the Philippines stands as a testament to centuries of Spanish colonization. The archipelago, with its stunning beaches and vibrant cities, carries a cultural legacy deeply intertwined with Spanish traditions, language, and architecture.

Spanish Influence Today:

Though the Philippines gained independence, Spanish influence endured, despite not being as widely spoken as it once was, is still present in Filipino vocabulary, surnames, and cultural practices. The country’s rich history reflects the enduring impact of Spanish colonization.

Keep in mind:

While the Philippines is no longer officially a Spanish-speaking country these days, this wasn’t always the case.

Up until 1987, Spanish was a co-official language of the Philippines, along with English.

Final Thoughts on Spanish Speaking Countries Around the World

Lady and her Child illustrate the people in countries in Spanish around the world.

Our journey through the diverse continents and these Spanish speaking countries has illuminated the remarkable presence of the Spanish language around the world.

Case in point:

In Europe, we traced the roots of Spanish to the Iberian Peninsula, where the language first took shape. The journey then led us to Africa, where Equatorial Guinea became a unique bridge between continents, showcasing the enduring legacy of the countries in Spanish colonization.

Crossing the Pacific, the Philippines and Guam demonstrated how Spanish influence has left an indelible mark on the cultures of Oceania.

In Latin America, the heartbeat of Spanish culture resonates passionately. From the vibrant celebrations in Mexico to the tango-infused streets of Argentina. Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Oceania add their rhythm and flair.

The good news?

Our exploration of Spanish speaking countries has not only unveiled the linguistic nuances and historical imprints but also celebrated the modern expressions of the Spanish influence around the world.

Do you want to feel at home in over 21 countries and speak Spanish fluently?

I have some good news: You can work with me directly.

To learn about my special language learning method that emphasizes good habits and lifestyle over grammar, be sure to contact me, or if you want access to exclusive content I don’t share anywhere else, follow me on Instagram.

Meet Daniel

Since he was a child, Daniel has been passionate about Social Dynamics. Learn how Daniel got his start as a Language Coach, and why he decided to start this language blog. If you want to send Daniel a quick message, then visit his contact page here.

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