Pinyin News recently posted a comprehensive analysis of the number of students enrolled in Mandarin language programs here: US post-secondary enrollments in foreign languages and the position of Mandarin.
The number of students enrolled in Mandarin classes grew by 51% between 2002 and 2006…to a whopping 51,582 students.
Meanwhile, there are 822,985 students enrolled in Spanish classes.
I’d like to provide commentary, but the author of the blog article I referenced above did a much better job than I ever could. Go and read his piece.
Also see this piece on the number of students in the UK enrolled in Mandarin language degree programs.