To learn a language is to take on its culture. That is why it is important for us to know the 21 countries where Spanish is spoken as an official language.

More than 580 million people speak Spanish in the world, which is 7% of the global population. So the following facts are of utmost importance not only for those who are learning Spanish, but also for people who are looking to acquire general knowledge.

The 21 countries with Spanish as official language

In another article we talked about the Spanish spoken in each of these countries, now we will limit ourselves to facts that everyone should know about them.

Argentina

The capital is Buenos Aires. It is the second largest country in South America, after Brazil. Its economy is based mainly on agriculture and livestock, and its population is more than 47 million inhabitants.

Bolivia

Bolivia is a plurinational state, meaning that its Constitution makes it clear that it is a territory in which several nations coexist prior to Spanish colonization.

It is landlocked. Although its political power is in the city of La Paz, its legal capital is the city of Sucre.

Chile

Santiago de Chile is its capital.

Chile is the country in South America that offers the best quality of life for its inhabitants and the most prosperous in the region.

It is the largest copper producer in the world, so mining is one of the main sources of employment in the nation. In general, it is the Latin American country that has grown the most economically in recent decades, which also makes it the country that has lifted the most people out of poverty.

Colombia

The capital is Bogotá. Tourism has transformed Colombia in recent years. Today it has a growing economy and several of its cities have become role models.

Although coffee and emeralds have always been its two star products, in recent years, Colombians have been successful in the tourism and oil sectors.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country located in Central America characterized by its high educational levels and the diversity of its flora and fauna.

It has beaches on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Its location allows it to have agricultural activity 12 months of the year.

Costa Rica is 51,000 kilometers long and its capital is San José. It is a Presidential Republic with a unicameral Parliament.

Cuba

The capital is Havana. Cuba is an insulting country located in the Caribbean Sea where private property does not exist. All enterprises are state-owned and businesses are planned according to the interests of the state, which also sets the prices for everything.

There is a single political party, from which its three rulers have emerged since the 1959 Revolution: Fidel Castro, Raúl Castro and Miguel Díaz Canel.

Ecuador

Its capital is Quito. Ecuador has a territory of 286,460 square kilometers. Its capital is Quito, and its currency is the U.S. dollar.

Until 1830 it was part of Gran Colombia and today it is a plurinational state, which means that, like Bolivia, it accepts that within its territory there are ancestral nations that predate the arrival of Europeans.

El Salvador

San Salvador is its capital city. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. In recent years it has experienced a significant economic recovery thanks to remittances from the United States and increased exports.

Spain

Its capital is Madrid. The worldwide political power of the Catholic kings and Charles V led Spain to colonize almost all American countries in past centuries.

Today, Spain is still a kingdom and groups together various autonomous communities with their own culture and language, such as Catalonia, Galicia or Euskadi.

Equatorial Guinea

Malabo is the capital of this country. It is the only country in Africa where Spanish is the official language. It was a Spanish colony until October 12, 1968, when it became independent during the eleventh government of Francisco Franco.

Apart from Spanish, multiple local tribal languages are spoken in Equatorial Guinea. But all documents, education and legality are in Spanish.

Honduras

Its capital is Tegucigalpa. In Honduras, half of the territory is mountainous. Its mountain ranges separate this country from Guatemala.

After oil, its most important commercial activity is related to agriculture and forestry.

Of the 110 countries that make up the list of those that offer the worst quality of life to their inhabitants, made by the British company Surfshark, Honduras ranks 98th. However, its extraordinary natural landscapes make it a country with great potential for tourism.

Mexico

Its capital is Mexico City. With an area of almost two million square kilometers and a population of more than 130 million inhabitants, Mexico is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Latin America.

Geographically, it is located in the southern part of North America. In addition to Spanish, 66 Amerindian languages are spoken. Its legal name is the United Mexican States, and it is an independent country from Spain since 1810.

Nicaragua

Managua is the capital. The cost of living in Nicaragua is 60% cheaper than in the United States. Its economy grew 10% in 2021 alone, and its economic performance remained positive in 2022.

However, the country has a strong political and social instability that is transformed into frequent demonstrations.

Panama

Panama City is the capital. Panama is famous for its canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Due to its strategic position, it is a country of enormous cultural diversity of people from all over the Latin American region.

Its skyscrapers contrast with rural areas, and its economy – one of the most stable in Latin America – is based on trade and financial services as a country without oil.

Paraguay

Its capital is La Asunción. Paraguay was one of the first countries in the region to gain independence from Spain. It is a multicultural and bilingual country where both Spanish and the indigenous Guaraní language are spoken.

The influence of Guarani is so strong that 90% of non-indigenous Paraguayans are able to speak it.

Peru

Its capital is Lima. Peru’s enormous territory allows 55 indigenous peoples to coexist within it. It is famous for its amazing gastronomy and its capacity for tourism.

Peru has 12 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, among them the unlikely Machu-Pichu.

Its economy has been growing steadily over the past few years and in 2022 it is improving at a rate of more than 3%.

Dominican Republic

The capital is Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic is a country located in the Caribbean Sea, specifically on the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with another country: Haiti.

Its capital is Santo Domingo. Its most famous attraction is tourism. In addition to its beaches and spectacular scenery, it has a hotel structure that is very attractive for tourists.

Uruguay

Its capital is Montevideo. Uruguay is a small country with a population of approximately 3 million inhabitants. Its economy and quality of life are growing thanks to agriculture, tourism and technology.

Venezuela

Its capital is Caracas. Venezuela is a country located in the semteptrional part of South America. Its wealth lies in its multiple natural resources: from gold and diamonds to oil, aluminum and coltan.

However, it has been a country historically dependent on oil alone, which has subsidized other industries, generating major imbalances and crises in the economy.

Despite the terrible situation it went through between 2015 and 2020, it is the country with the highest economic growth in the region at present according to ECLAC data, as it is experiencing a considerable recovery.

Now that you know more about the 21 countries where Spanish is spoken as an official language in the world, it is time for you to learn the language with Lingua Language Center.