These are exciting times to learn Spanish and declare a Spanish major, double major, or minor. The reasons to study Spanish are many. Today, about 350 million people speak Spanish as a native language, making it the world's second most spoken language. It is the second most common language in the United States with over 34 million individuals whose primary language is Spanish. The US Hispanic population has grown by 60% in just one decade and the buying power of US Hispanics surpassed $926 million by 2007. It has become an essential language in the business, legal, and medical communities, and the demand for bilingual Spanish-English speakers is ever increasing in the global economy. As a result, Spanish has become the most widely taught non-English language in US primary and secondary schools, as well as in higher education.