462,000 in Nepal (2001), decreasing. Isolated enclaves of monolinguals are found in Nawalparasi and southern Tanahu districts. The identification of Magars is complicated by the fact that a number of other ethnic groups (Chantyal, Kham, Kaike, Kusunda, Raute, Raji) have claimed to be Magars to outsiders. Population total all countries: 533,700. Ethnic population: 1,620,000 ethnic Magar (2001 census).
Gandaki Zone, Tanahu, south Gorkha, and north Nawalparasi districts, east of Bagmati river, central mountains; Kosi Zone scattered, Bhojpur, Terhathum, Dhankuta districts; Sagarmatha Zone, Okhaldhunga district; Mechi Zone, Taplejung, Ilam districts. Also in Bhutan, India.
6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).
Gorkha, Nawalparasi, Tanahu. Also long-extant migrant communities scattered throughout the Eastern Development Region speak a different variety from those west of Kathmandu. Reports of intelligibility between these varieties vary.
Traditional religion, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian.