Caramba! The US has an impressive 41 million native Spanish speakers plus an additional 11.6 million bilinguals who speak the language. That's the second highest number of Spanish speakers in the world, topped only by Mexico's 121 million, according to a new study by the Instituto Cervantes.
The US even has more Spanish speakers than Spain (46 million) as well as Columbia (48 million).
The numbers are bound to get higher: the US leads the world in the number of people studying Spanish (7.8 million).
The U.S. Census Office estimates there will be 138 million Spanish speakers in the nation by 2050. That would make it the largest Spanish-speaking nation on earth with a third of its citizens speaking Spanish, notes the Guardian.
The biggest concentration of Spanish speakers is in the American southwest and south in the states of New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona. Some 18% of New Yorkers speak Spanish.