Spanish is the second most widely spoken language today. With 329 million native speakers, it ranks second only to Chinese. Spanish is used by some 450 million people (natives and speakers of Spanish as a second language). It is undergoing continuous growth and predictions indicate that 535 people million will be speaking Spanish in 20 years.
The USA is expected to be the world's leading Spanish speaking country in 2050. In China, Spanish is becoming increasingly popular. Since 2005, Brazil has the so called Spanish Law in force, which obliges all public and private secondary schools to teach Spanish within regular class hours. 200,000 teachers will be trained or hired to meet this objective.
Data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany show that some 115,000 German pupils studied Spanish during the 2000/2001 academic year. This number rose to 285,000 in 2007/2008, marking an increase of nearly 150%.
In only ten years time (2000-2009), the use of Spanish on the Internet has increased 650.9%, making it the third most widely used language on the web. 7.9% of web users (of the 1700 million users worldwide) communicate in Spanish. As for the number of documents requested, Spanish ranks as the fourth most popular language.