10,400 (2010 census). 130 monolinguals. Spoken by 10,000 of the 122,000 member Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, by 1,000 of the 10,000 Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina, by a high percentage of the 7,500 members of the United Keetoowah Band of Oklahoma and Arkansas (Golla 2007). Ethnic population: 139,500 (Golla 2007).
East and northeast Oklahoma, Cherokee Reservation; Great Smokey Mountains; western North Carolina.
Elati (Eastern Cherokee, Lower Cherokee), Kituhwa (Middle Cherokee), Otali (Overhill Cherokee, Upper Cherokee, Western Cherokee), Overhill-Middle Cherokee.
Regularly taught at University of Oklahoma and Northeast Oklahoma University. Adult classes held in many locations. Cherokee Nation sponsors language preservation project.
Christian, traditional religion.