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U.S. is the No. 2 Spanish-Speaking Country in the World

File photo at a rally in San Diego Feb. 17, 2015.Gregory Bull / AP

A Spanish-language institute says the U.S. is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Instituto Cervantes, based in Spain, reported there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the U.S. and 11.6 million who are bilingual for a total of 52.6 million.

That puts the U.S. second to its neighbor to the south, Mexico and ahead of Colombia, where Spanish speakers total 121 million and 46 million respectively, the Guardian reported.

According to the report, Spanish was the native tongue of 470 million people worldwide this year and some 559 million have some usage of the language, either because they are native speakers, have some proficiency or are learning the language.

In May, Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends reported that English use was increasing among Latinos in the U.S. Meanwhile, the share of Hispanics who speak Spanish at home had been declining for the past 13 years. Despite the decline, a record 35.8 million Latinos speak Spanish at home. The record increases while there is a decline because of the growth in the Latino population.

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