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Chart: There are more Spanish speakers in the U.S. than in Spain

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The population of Spanish speakers in the United States has now surpassed that of Spain, according to a report published by an organization affiliated with the Spanish government.

As the chart shows, the total number of Spanish speakers in the United States — a figure combining estimates of native Spanish speakers and those with bilingual proficiency — now is larger than the overall populations of a host of Spanish-speaking nations and is second only to Mexico. There are more than 41 million native Spanish speakers in the United States and nearly 12 million with limited proficiency.

The data, compiled by the Instituto Cervantes, a nonprofit launched by Spain in 1991 to promote Spanish language and culture around the world, draws from U.S. census figures and other official government sources.

The report, titled "El español, una lengua viva," ("Spanish, a living language), found that there are 559 million Spanish speakers in the world, including 470 million native speakers.

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