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Most Common Native Latin American Languages
(by number of speakers today)

This chart lists the thirty American Indian languages of Latin America which have the most native speakers. Note that this is only a chart of Native American languages, not ALL languages spoken in these countries. Among all languages, the top two languages spoken in Latin America are Spanish (with 360 million speakers) and Portuguese (with 190 million speakers.) Other non-indigenous languages with more than a million speakers in Latin America include English (with 5 million speakers) and Italian (with 2 million.)

Also, be aware that in several of these cases, a "language" may actually include several related, but not identical, languages. For example, Quechua speakers in Ecuador and Bolivia really can not understand each other (although both of them may be able to understand an intermediate form of their language.) There are also dozens of different Mayan languages, 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 and South American countries, it becomes very difficult to compare the total estimated number of speakers at a finer level than "Quechua" or "Mayan." A good source for demographic information about individual languages, sublanguages and dialects is the Ethnologue of Languages.

Most Popular Indigenous Latin American Languages

Language name Country/region spoken Approximate number of speakers
1. Quechua Andean region of South America 8 million
2. Mayan languages Mexico and Guatemala 6 million
3. Guarani Paraguay and surrounding area 5 million
4. Aymara Peru and Bolivia 2.5 million
5. Nahuatl Mexico 2 million
6. Mapudungun Chile 500,000
7. Mixtec Mexico 475,000
8. Zapotec Mexico 450,000
9. Otomi Mexico 285,000
10. Totonac Mexico 240,000
11. Mazatec Mexico 220,000
12. Guajiro Venezuela and Colombia 200,000
13. Miskito Nicaragua 180,000
14. Mazahua Mexico 150,000
15. Ngäbere Panama 150,000
16. Garifuna Honduras and surrounding area 120,000
17. Chinantec Mexico 135,000
18. Mixe Mexico 130,000
19. Purepecha Mexico 125,000
20. Tlapanec Mexico 120,000
21. Tarahumara Mexico 85,000
22. Embera Colombia and Panama 80,000
23. Paez Colombia 60,000
24. Zoque Mexico 60,000
25. Ashaninka Peru and Brazil 50,000
26. Tojolabal Mexico 50,000
27. Kuna Panama and Colombia 50,000
28. Chatino Mexico 45,000
29. Huichol Mexico 45,000
30. Popoluca Mexico 40,000




Go on to the most common languages of Mexico
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