Spanish is a global language that is experiencing constant, steady growth. Spanish is among the world’s top five languages in terms of number of speakers, number of countries where it is official, and geographic extension. It is an official language of the United Nations, and a language of reference in international relations.
The latest edition of the Instituto Cervantes yearbook features some figures reflecting the scope of Spanish today. With nearly 493 million native speakers, it is the world's second largest mother tongue, ranking third overall: adding together native speakers, those with a more limited knowledge, and students of the Spanish language, the number tops 591 million Spanish speakers. Spanish is also the third most widely used language on the internet.