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The Hispanidad (English: Hispanicity) are the community formed by all the people and countries that share a common Hispanic heritage and cultural pattern. The 23 nations that are included are all Spanish-speaking countries.
The community can be classified into three geographic areas: Hispanic Europe (Spain), Hispanic America, and Hispanic Africa (Equatorial Guinea and Western Sahara). A few countries in the Asia-Pacific region also have historical Spanish influence, although they no longer have Spanish as their official language.
Various countries celebrate 12 October as the Día de la Hispanidad ("Day of Hispanicity" or "Hispanic Day"). Since 1987 Spain has celebrated this holiday as its Fiesta Nacional de España. In the other nations of the community, the day is also celebrated as a commemoration of the date in 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas, marking the beginning of the diffusion of Spanish language and culture as well as its lasting impact on the New World.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Hispanicity was moribund. Zacarías de Vizarra, Faustino Rodríguez-San Pedro and Ramiro de Maeztu revived interest in the concept in Spain and the Americas, changing its name to Día de la Raza or "Day of the Race". This was already a national celebration in many Hispanic countries, in honor of the meeting of Europeans and Amerindians, their mixing and the emergence of the mestizo race. Shortly thereafter, the first pan-Hispanic organisations such as the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española began. With the restoration of democracy in Spain, all the Hispanic nations began to converge with, for example, the creation of the Cumbre Iberoamericana in 1991. Since then, the number of Hispano-American, Ibero-American, Pan-Latin American and Filipino hispanism (Filhispanismo) organisations has increased.
Currently, Hispanicity is a cooperative venture. Spain has created a base of support for Hispanic America and the Philippines due to heavy investments in these zones. Some Hispanic Americans choose to immigrate to Spain, because of its cultural, linguistic and ancestral affinity.
Hispanics in the world
Spanish, as a mother tongue, is spoken by more than 390 million people (second only to Chinese). The total number of Spanish speakers is more than 500 million people. Mexico contains the largest number of Spanish speakers, with over 100 million.
In Europe, Hispanics reside primarily in Spain as it is the origin of Hispanicity, although there are small communities spread throughout Europe. The native-born population is more than 44 million, plus a large immigrant Hispanic community from Hispanic America and Equatorial Guinea.
The majority of Hispanics live in Hispanic America, coinciding with recognized international borders—the number surpasses 300 million. Countries with great majority Hispanic population include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The United States and Belize, while not officially counted as Hispanic nations, do each have a large Hispanic population. The United States has more than 50 million Hispanic residents or about 16% of its total population, Spanish-language TV networks and other media companies are located across the United States. Additionally, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth in free association with the United States and its residents are American citizens. 43% of Belizeans commonly speak Spanish at home.
Hispanics in the African continent are concentrated in overseas territories of Spain, which are the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla and largely underpopulated Plazas de soberanía. Moreover, Equatorial Guinea has Spanish as its official government language, although the people speak their respective native languages. In Morocco, some people maintain Hispanic characteristics, although it's also influenced by Arab and maybe Berber languages and cultures. Western Sahara has Spanish as co-official language and is claimed by Morocco. In Angola and Nigeria there are small populations of Spanish speakers who descend from repatriated Afro-Cubans of the colonial era. Altogether in Africa, two million speak Spanish.
Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region received influence from the Hispanic world while they were governed by the Spanish Crown via Mexico City and Madrid. The Philippines, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those in this region that received influence from Spain and Mexico.
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- "Belize 2000 Housing and Population Census". Belize Central Statistical Office. 2000. Retrieved 2008-09-09.