770,000 (2000 census).
North Sumatra Province. Nias, Batu islands off west coast. Northwest dialect: Alasa area, west in Sirombu and Mandrehe areas; Central dialect: Gomo area, south in Teluk Dalam and Batu islands.
Central Nias, North Nias (Gunung Sitoli), Northwest Nias, South Nias, West Nias.
Vigorous. Positive attitudes. Limited proficiency in Indonesian [ind].
North dialect (particularly Gunung Sitoli) has high prestige and is a lingua franca in Nias. The South dialect (particularly Teluk Dalam variety) has lower prestige, especially in northern Nias, and is considered by many Nias speakers from other areas as unrefined. Christian.