Mandarin continues to grow as a language of cultural and professional importance. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by one fifth of the world's population! Yes, that's 20% of all the people on this planet! It's the first language of some 870 billion people, and is the official language of mainland China, Taiwan, and one of the official languages of Singapore and the United Nations. China has the largest economy in the world.
Not Convinced? Check out these articles and websites for more information:
Why Learn Mandarin?
Who Learns Mandarin?
Boston University Modern Language Department
Rapper Will.I.Am supports bilingual education and the study of Mandarin.
The Future of Chinese Language Education