80,000 in China (1999 X. Xijian). 20,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 110,000.
Yunnan Province, Dehong Dai-Jingpo autonomous prefecture, Luxi, Ruili, Longchuan, Yingjiang, and Bangwa counties. Also in Myanmar.
SOV; 3 tone categories in unchecked syllables and 2 in checked; tense-lax vowel contrast
Vigorous. Speakers of other languages in the area also speak Zaiwa. All domains. All ages. Used less by young people and children. Positive attitudes. Intellectuals are concerned about preservation of Zaiwa. Most also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Lisu [lis], or Bai [bca]. A few also use Lachi [lbt], Maru [mhx], or Jingpho [kac].
Officially classified within Jingpo nationality. Traditional religion, Daoist, Christian.