By some estimates, there are 460 million native Spanish speakers in the world. In fact, Spanish has the second-highest number of native speakers globally surpassed only by Chinese, which includes Mandarin.
Less well known is how significant the growth of the Spanish language is within the United States. According to a recent Pew Research Center FactTank News in the Numbers survey, "...Spanish is by far the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. today among people 5 and older. The number of Spanish speakers in the US has grown by 233% since 1980 making it one of the fastest-growing languages in the country.
For many families, the choice of Spanish as the immersion language is also due to its prevalence throughout the world. Twenty countries name Spanish as their official language, and although many of the world's Spanish-speaking population are in the Americas, many are not. Spanish is spoken in parts of Asia as well as Africa too.
Beyond middle school
As students move into high school from HudsonWay's Spanish immersion program, they are uniquely positioned to continue with their foreign language acquisition. As a language choice, Spanish is the most popular language offered in US high schools with language programs. An American Councils' report on language enrollment confirms that approximately 46% of US high school language programs offer Spanish as a language choice.
Once students enter the workforce, Spanish bilingualism and biliteracy open a world of opportunities. Twenty countries claim Spanish as their official language, and it is spoken in many others. According to the most recent Korn/Ferry International Quarterly Executive Recruiter Index, multilingual executives have a clear competitive advantage, especially when it comes to recruitment in the United States.