By 2060, almost 5 and a half centuries after the arrival of Juan Ponce de León in what is now Florida, the United States will be the country with the second most Spanish-speaking countries, according to a study released last Friday by the Hispanic Council. With regard to Spanish Language Day, which was celebrated last Sunday, the Hispanic Council cited figures from the Cervantes Institute to point out that 57 million people speak that language in the United States.
According to the Census, Hispanics in the United States are almost 19% of the population and, according to the report, by 2060, 27.5% of the US population will be of Hispanic origin. “In less than 4 decades, the United States will be the second country in the world with the largest number of Spanish-speakers, just behind Mexico”, said the Madrid-based Hispanic Council. “The Hispanic community is not homogeneous, nor is its relationship with Spanish”, he added.
“English is the most widely spoken language throughout the United States”. However, 7 out of 10 Hispanics use Spanish to communicate in the family environment, which “demonstrates that Spanish is a living language that Hispanics use for their cultural ties and for their professional projection”.
According to the Hispanic Council, in the US there are 624 active Spanish-language media outlets and 91% of high schools offer classes in Spanish. This country has, with more than 8 million students, the largest number of Spanish students. The seed of the Spanish language was planted in 1513 by the Spaniard Ponce de León, a native of Valladolid, and now there are more Spanish speakers in the United States than in Spain, the report added.
That is why 10 states, 4 territories, as well as dozens of counties and municipalities have names in Spanish, which the result of the Spanish colonial presence for more than 300 years. The Hispanic Council specified that 26% of all Spanish-speakers in the United States are found in California, where the Hispanic population is close to 40% of the total, only surpassed by New Mexico, where the community of Hispanic origin represents almost half of the total of the population.