305,000 in Russian Federation (2010 census). 192,000 Karachay, 108,000 Balkar (2002 census). Used by 97% of the ethnic population. Population total all countries: 310,730. Ethnic population: 303,000 (2002 census).
South Karachay-Cherkessia Province and Kabardino-Balkaria Republic. Also in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, United States, Uzbekistan.
Balkar and Karachay almost identical. Muslim (Sunni).