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Most Common Central American Languages
(by number of speakers today)

This chart lists the ten Central American languages with the most native speakers. Spanish is the most-spoken language in Central America, and is also the most-spoken language of each individual country there (although English is the official language of Belize, there are still more Spanish speakers there than English speakers.) Note that in several of these cases, a "language" may actually include several related, but not identical, languages. There are dozens of different Mayan languages, for example, which could be listed separately (we do list them separately on our website.) However, since these languages are not recorded separately on the census records of Central American countries, it becomes very difficult to compare the total estimated number of speakers at a finer level than "Mayan." A good source for demographic information about individual languages, sublanguages and dialects is the Ethnologue of Languages.

Most Popular Central American Languages

Language name Country/region spoken Approximate number of speakers
1. Spanish Throughout Central America 32 million
2. Mayan languages Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador 4.5 million
3. English Creoles Panama, Belize, Nicaragua 400,000
4. Miskito Nicaragua and Honduras 180,000
5. Ngäbere Panama and Costa Rica 150,000
6. Garifuna Honduras and surrounding area 120,000
7. English Belize, also some in all countries 120,000
8. Kuna Panama 50,000
9. Embera Colombia and Panama 10,000
10. Bribri Costa Rica 10,000



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