According to the Cervantes Institute, in 2017, more than 477 million people spoke Spanish as their native language. In addition, the group of potential Spanish users around the world now exceeds 572 million (7.8% of the world population).
Spanish is considered the number two native language in the world in terms of number of speakers, after Mandarin Chinese, and the number two language of international communication, after English.
For demographic reasons, the percentage of the world population that speaks Spanish as a native language seems to be increasing, while the proportion of Chinese and English speakers is on the decline.
More than 21 million students study Spanish as a foreign language.