According to a report published by Instituto Cervantes, an organization affiliated with the Spanish government, the number of Spanish-language speakers in the U.S. has now exceeded the number in Spain.
The total number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. is now only second to Mexico, according to the report. The figure has combined estimates of native Spanish-language speakers, and those with bilingual proficiency.
In addition, according to an article in the Washington Post, the report found there are more than 41 million native Spanish speakers in the U.S., and nearly 12 million with limited proficiency.
In comparison, there are 121 million Spanish speakers, total, in Mexico; 48 million in Colombia; and 46.7 million in Spain.
The institute compiled the data using U.S. census data, and other governmental sources.
Spain launched Instituto Cervantes in 1991, in order to promote Spanish language and culture around the world, according to officials.
The report, titled “El español, una lengua viva,” (“Spanish, a living language), also found there are 559 million Spanish speakers around the world, including 470 million native speakers.