Spanish

The Spanish people, or Spaniards ( ) are a nation and ethnic group native to Spain that share a common Spanish culture and speak the Spanish language as a mother tongue. Within Spain there are a number of nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country’s complex history. The official language of Spain is Spanish (also known as Castilian), a standard language based on the mediaeval dialect of the Castilians of north-central Spain. There are several commonly spoken regional languages (mainly Basque, Catalan and Galician). With the exception of Basque, the languages native to Spain are Romance languages. There are substantial populations outside Spain with ancestors who emigrated from Spain; most notably in Hispanic America. The Roman Republic conquered Iberia during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. As a result of Roman colonization, the majority of local languages, with the exception of Basque, stem from the Vulgar Latin. The Germanic Vandals and Suebi, with part of the Iranian Alans under King Respendial, arrived in the peninsula in 409 AD. The Iberian Peninsula was invaded by Muslim armies in 711. Ultimately, Jews and Muslims either converted to Catholicism or were expelled from Spain in 1492 and 1502, following the Reconquista. In the 16th century, a wave of emigration began, with 240,000 Spaniards voyaging to the Americas. They were joined by 450,000 in the next century. Since the conquest of Mexico and Peru these two regions became the principal destinations of Spanish colonial settlers in the 16th century. In the period 1850–1950, 3.5 million Spanish left for the Americas, particularly Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, and Cuba. Spain is home to one of the largest communities of Romani people (commonly known by the English exonym “gypsies”, Spanish: gitanos). The Spanish Roma, which belong to the Iberian Kale subgroup (calé), are a formerly-nomadic community, which spread across Western Asia, North Africa, and Europe, first reaching Spain in the 15th century. The population of Spain is becoming increasingly diverse due to recent immigration. From 2000 to 2010, Spain had among the highest per capita immigration rates in the world and the second highest absolute net migration in the World (after the USA) and immigrants now make up about 10% of the population.