Study shows Spanish is No. 3 language on Internet

La Prensa 11 de octubre de 2010
Study shows Spanish is No. 3 language on Internet 

New York, Oct 11 (EFE).- Spanish is the third most-used language on the Internet, after English and Chinese, according to a report published here on Monday by Fundacion Telefonica, an institution created by Spain’s Grupo Telefonica.

The document, entitled “Spanish on the Web,” is the result of an investigation headed by Jose Luis Garcia Delgado, a professor of Applied Economics at Madrid’s Universidad Complutense, along with Guillermo Rojo and Mercedes Sanchez.

Spoken by nearly 500 million people in 21 countries, “Spanish is in second place as a language of international communication by number of speakers,” Garcia Delgado told Efe on Monday.

“Spanish is the second multinational language, after English,” the professor said, and it is beginning to be “a much appreciated cultural product in the second and third generations of well-educated Hispanics and who take pride in preserving the language.”

The report shows that Latino websurfers in the United States are one of the most active online populations and, according to the data in the report, 47 percent of those users spend more than an hour online each day, compared with just 44 percent who spend an hour or more watching television.

“That situation is possibly related to the fact that a good part of the Hispanics in the United States already have a more acceptable level of education, as well as a tendency to preserve the language,” Garcia Delgado added.

“Spanish occupies the No. 3 position worldwide on the Internet both in number of users (136 million) as well as in Web pages (675 million),” according to the Fundacion Telefonica study.

“Spanish on the Web” also discusses the consequences that the Internet has in the life of languages, the most important features and statistics about the Internet in Spanish-speaking countries and the situation of the electronic press in Spanish.

“Access to the Web in the Hispanic community stands at 30.5 percent, a little above the worldwide average, with a growth rate of close to 900 percent between the years 2000 and 2009,” Garcia Delgado said.

He added that Spanish-speakers are the third-largest language group among Internet users, with 8 percent of the total, after English users (38 percent) and Chinese users (22 percent).

English is the language with the greatest online presence, with about 1 billion pages, followed by Chinese, with more than 800 million pages.

Argentina, Chile and Spain are the Spanish-speaking countries where more than 50 percent of the public have online connections, with the proportion reaching 70 percent in the European nation, according to the study.

With regard to Mexico, 27.4 percent of the population – more than 27 million people – have Internet access.

Colombia, Costa Rica, the Hispanic population of the United States, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay have connection rates greater than 30 percent.

Currently, there are 339 million servers in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as 78 million IP addresses and 6.2 million domains, according to the report.

The study also says that the online press in Spanish has doubled over the past 10 years to 850 dailies in 2009, with Mexico, Spain and Argentina being the countries where there has been the greatest growth in online media outlets.