71,700,000 in India (2001 census). Population total all countries: 71,780,660.
Maharashtra and adjacent states. Also in Canada, Israel, Mauritius, United States.
2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Maharashtra State (1950, Constitution, Schedule VIII).
Gawdi of Goa, Kasargod, Kosti, Kudali, Nagpuri Marathi. 42 dialects. Complex dialect situation. Dialects bordering other major language areas share many features with those languages. Dialects or closely related languages: Konkani [knn], Goan Konkani [gom], Deccan [dcc], Varhadi-Nagpuri [vah], and Gowlan [goj]. There is a dialect in Thanjavur District and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu influenced lexically by Tamil [tam] and Kannada [kan], with at least 100,000 speakers.
The Bene Israel are a Marathi-speaking Jewish group in Mumbai. 3,000,000 L2 speakers.
The Habshi are Muslim, descended from East African slaves brought to western India. Are is a synonym for a Marathi caste name. Are also refers to Marathi-speaking communities in south India. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Jewish (Bene Israel).